We know that children learn best when they tap into multiple areas of their brains. Combining kinesthetic and artistic approaches with more traditional demonstrations of learning provides our students with ways to construct meaning for themselves in deep and lasting ways. Last week Katie Mactaggart and Hilary Simons’ fourth grade students created a living museum as a part of their latest research project. Students have been researching people from the colonial period in United States History. As a way of showing what they have learned from their research and a means of preparing for a traditional research paper, they became museum statues embodying their research subject. The Lower School lobby and halls were transformed into the museum. Parents and other Lower School students visited the museum. As the visitors approached a museum “exhibit” the statue would come alive and share with their visitors something about their life in colonial America, their role in the American Revolution, or their role in the creation of the United States. The student poise and knowledge were remarked upon by all visitors. Having an authentic audience for sharing their learning, engaging multiple intelligences and pulling in several strands of our social studies, research, and public speaking school wide focuses make this project a great example of Action Based Education.
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