How can you tell if students really know and understand their material? One way is for them to explain it to a young child.
That was the idea behind a recent American history exercise at Pleasant Lea Middle School, where eighth-graders wrote and illustrated children’s books about the American Revolution. Students from a nearby elementary school served as informal critics, and they learned a lot too — about history, writing and life.
The assignment was designed to evaluate the older students’ knowledge in a more authentic and memorable way, teacher Matt Sisk said.
“The students created children’s books over the causes of the American Revolution, and they chose a cartoon character, like SpongeBob or Scooby-Doo, to be the main character in their story,” Sisk said. “The character experienced the tumultuous time period of the 1760s and 1770s in Colonial America alongside the colonists and shared the frustrations right alongside the colonists as well.”
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The eighth-graders, Sisk continued, found it challenging to describe certain events in a kid-friendly way.
“Many of the eighth-graders were asking if it was OK to bring up something as violent as the Boston massacre,” he said. “This led to some great conversations about how in writing, the audience we are addressing can affect the kind of language we use. The kids came up with some very creative ways to present some tough topics.”
The authors presented their completed books at Pleasant Lea Elementary School, where the younger students filled out forms to provide feedback on whether the book made sense, flowed well, and taught historical facts and real-life lessons.
Both sets of students were challenged to explore the concept of taking a stand against injustice.
“The colonists stood up to Britain in many ways leading up to the Revolution, and I thought it was important that our kids know ways to do this in their own lives as well,” Sisk said. “We talked about the best ways to take a stand, and kids incorporated this as the last page of their children’s book. “
The dialogue with the younger students focused on bullying or classmates who pressure others to make poor choices.
A similar study was conducted by eighth-grade teacher Mike Walker, whose students visited Trailridge Elementary.
SCA student’s work chosen for Capitol display
Summit Christian Academy freshman Ashlyn Steller’s impressionistic painting of the school’s landscape has been selected as a 2018 Senate Art Exhibit winner.
Every year, each of Missouri’s 34 state senators select one image among the entries from their district, which are printed and displayed in the Senate hallway at the State Capitol in Jefferson City.
Steller’s painting, an acrylic work inspired by a tour of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, was selected by state Sen. Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit.
The original piece is on display in the secondary administrative office at Summit Christian Academy.
Courtwarming at Lee’s Summit North ...
Lee’s Summit North High School has scheduled courtwarming activities for Feb. 2, including a school assembly, basketball game and dance.
The king and queen will be crowned at the game.
... and Lee’s Summit West
Lee’s Summit West High School celebrated its courtwarming last weekend.
Christian Bishop was crowned as king Jan. 26 during a school assembly. The queen, McKayla Brady, was crowned at the basketball game that evening. Festivities also included a dance.
Compiled by Elaine Adams, Special to the Journal