Hands-on learning often produces the best results for students and that is the approach John Ward, a teacher at Sandman Consolidated School is Cape May (Cape May County) takes in his NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education and Verizon funded ($4,826 grant) project There's a Lighthouse in My Backyard!
With the help of a local preservationist, parents, and a local Senior Citizen Computer Club, students in three sixth grade science classes will use their visits to lighthouses across New Jersey to hone their writing, technology, and mathematics skills while they expand their knowledge of lighthouses and their historical importance.
Students will participate in the October Annual New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge and become members of the "11 Points of Light Club" after they visit the state's eleven lighthouses.
Students will write compare/contrast essays and develop 10-page stories about lighthouses including illustrations and photographs. Ultimately they will publish twelve books (one about each lighthouse and one general book) to read to preschool and kindergarten classes during Read Across America Week.
Mathematics skills will play a major role in the student designed, scale (200 feet to 8 feet) models of the eleven lighthouses. The scaled models will be placed in an undecagon (11-sided) shape to allow students to see the visual characteristics of the lighthouse on one side and the historical context of each lighthouse on the other as they walk through the exhibit. The final project will be shared with fourth grade classes as they study New Jersey history and will be displayed at a nearby lighthouse for viewing by the general public.
Verizon supports family literacy programs in which public school educators partner with libraries or other community organizations and is an NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education partner.
For further information, contact:
John P. Ward