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Weather Academy visits Denning Elementary

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WEST FRANKFORT (WSIL) -- We recently took the Weather Academy to Denning Elementary to share our knowledge of weather with students, but teacher Michael Warren says many of them haven't yet begun to study science.

"Well, a lot of second grade is learning to read, so most of our curriculum deals with reading. We'll dive into math. When they get into third grade, that's when they really start diving into science and social studies, and things like that," said Warren. 

To learn more about social studies, students take a role in a class play. They each get assigned a character. The process teaches them all about American history and their character's role in it.

Second grader Amaya Hunter says she played Coretta Scott King.

"It was Martin Luther King, Jr's wife," Hunter said. 

Teacher Erika Nicholson says the play is a creative way to teach subjects that students aren't quite ready to dive into, like science.

"In third grade, they really hit on science. That's actually one of the subjects they get graded for, I believe. So here we just have to use our other subjects to bring in science and social studies," Nicholson explained. 

"In spring, we do what we call our whale play, and we talk about all kinds of different animals from the ocean," Warren said. 

Nicholson added, "We sing all kinds of whale songs, and the songs are facts about whales. So, as they're singing, they'll be like, "Oh, I'm singing about a fact about a whale!"

Teachers say the interactive nature can help make a topic more manageable.

"Hands on activities, that's what gets them more engaged, and more involved, so anyway we can bring in any type of activity or project, we do that any way whether it's something to do with art, or if they can do a video, or bring in materials," Nicholson said. 

Warren says, "Using those plays is another way that we can teach those kids about those individual things, where we don't necessarily have a curriculum for that right now, but that's a way that we can dive into social studies, and talk about the things of our country, and our country's history without having to get into a book or something like that so we can discuss those things."

Teachers hope they can use current subjects to give their students a jump on learning subjects they will study in the future. 

John Ross

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