Martin County middle school students prepare for end of year with hands-on learning

MARTIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – The end of the school year is approaching. While this time of year is full of tests, stress, and getting ready for the summer, one sixth-grade class is learning about national parks in a fun and unique way.

Andrew Maready, a Riverside Middle School sixth-grade student says, “A lot of fun projects with painting and posters, and badges, I cut out bird feathers. This was probably my favorite project of the year.”

Riverside Middle School 6th Grade Teacher, Landon Leggett designed a fun and interactive lesson plan to teach students about Yellowstone National Park.

Leggett told WITN, “We have done a virtual escape room so the kids could explore through the park. They’ve done stations. We’ve incorporated EOG prep. They’ve explored the geology of the park, the animals in the park, the role of park rangers.”

Maready says his favorite lesson learned was about the geysers in Yellowstone. “I learned a lot about the geysers and how the environment impacts them, and how they impact the environment.”

Structural Learning reports that students retain 75% of what they learn when they practice hands-on and 90% of what they learn when they teach someone else.

That’s why Leggett’s lesson doesn’t stop there. After learning about Yellowstone, Leggett’s students went to Jamesville Elementary to teach kindergarten and second graders what they had learned.

“Kids love when they can make things and create. It helps it stick in their brains a little bit better when they’re able to touch it and make it their own. They’re allowed to have a lot of creative freedom with what they do and they love it. They loved what they were doing. They had the best time. It makes all the work that teachers do worth it when the kids have a good time and learn at the same time,” Leggett says.

The goal is to provide an environment for both educators and those in their care to learn and grow.

“This was awesome. Just going to the school and seeing how happy those kindergartners and second graders were after we did the project with them, they were thrilled,” Maready said.

Leggett says the Yellowstone project all got started when she was selected to go to Yellowstone in January by the Museum of Natural Science.

For more information on the museum, visit their website.