Since sixth graders missed out on the traditional class trip to Washington, D.C. trip due to the pandemic, middle school teachers wanted to provide a virtual experience to make up the unit. Students are learning about the different sites, monuments, and memorials with different group projects. First, they created their own models of the Washington Monument, a site they’d normally visit on their trip, using classroom materials. Then, the entire grade viewed each student’s models and voted on the most creative, the most accurate, and the best design/engineering. Several students also created designs for the t-shirt they would traditionally wear on the trip, which were then voted on to determine the winning design.
Back in the classroom, students researched the story of a Vietnam soldier with their same last name (if possible). Those without a matching or similar last name were assigned a soldier for their research. Each student then created a memorial for their soldier and noted the location of that soldier’s name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in hopes that they can find the name on a future trip. They also learned about the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, different statues in the National Statuary Hall, and more.
“Since class trips are approved for next school year, we hope that they will get to travel to DC during their seventh-grade year as a ‘makeup’ trip,” said Sixth Grade Dean and Math Teacher Allison Darnell. “Doing the virtual activities might even make their trip more meaningful since they will have additional background knowledge about the sites, memorials, and monuments they would visit.”
Special shoutout to our sixth-grade team for adapting this unit and making the best of a difficult situation!