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February 2022 Newsletter

Posted Date: 03/04/2022

February 2022 Newsletter

Room 117  Social Studies

February 2022

8th Grade gets “Industrial” with PBL challenges with Technology and Urbanization 

Students were individually challenged to create a helicopter out of paper on their own with limited resources and no patterns. This represented the Pre-Industrial revolution. Students were unable to create one within five minutes. Then, students were given a pattern and some supplies, challenged again to create helicopters; this was met with limited success, three or four were created. This represented the Cottage industry. Finally, students were organized into a factory with four people, given supplies, patterns, and a new invention, interchangeable parts (a paper clip.) The record for the students was one hundred and forty-seven helicopters created in five minutes! This last step represented the Industrial  Revolution.


#Project-Based Learning 


Urbanization and City Planning

Exploding population growth and migration into cities were the hallmarks of the industrial revolution. Students were challenged in the urban game to create a city from a small New England village as factories and technology advanced. It gets really crowded and messy, really fast, as students are experiencing the industrial revolution from the perspective of a city official of the time period. Students are allowed then to plan out a city from scratch, and evaluate what they would have done differently in their planning and why. 


An ill-fated Journey through the Mountainsleads to an investigation.


7th Graders investigated clues (artifacts) left behind by the Donner/ Reed party as the party attempted to reach California through an unknown shortcut in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  In this Inquiry-Based Learning exercise, students work with primary sources to construct a thesis about what happened to this lost wagon train and then compare it to what actual historians and archaeologists learned about this tragic event.  


#Inquiry Based Learning

A Couple of Nights at the Museum.

7th graders were challenged with exploring a topic from our Westward Expansion section and investigating it for the purposes of educating the general public. They had to decide how they would present their findings. Students were given freedom and choice in their presentations. The result was a large range of creative problem solving as they constructed a large “Prairie Schooner”, a small business, and even computer coding animations! Their displays are open to the parents and family on March 7th & 8th during parent-teacher conferences. (Please visit the hall by Auxiliary Gym and visit the kiddos’ Trading Post for refreshments!) 

As always if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me by phone: 620.488.2222 or via email   -Mr. Woods             Follow on Twitter @mwoods67037