Archive for Thursday, April 19, 2001

Students map out geography lesson

April 19, 2001

When a classroom of third and fourth-graders at Starside Elementary wanted to learn something about all 50 states, they went directly to the source.

For a class project, each student wrote relatives or friends in different states asking for a return postcard. The letters weren't merely a greeting, but a request for information.

"We asked them to list a fact about the state and the state bird and flower," said fourth-grader Austin Wilhite.

The response was geographically overwhelming. Sally Beck, who is serving as a long-term substitute in the classroom of third and fourth-graders, said the students received postcards back from all 50 states.

"It was an integrated lesson in writing, geography and history," she said. "But the thing they enjoyed most was getting mail hearing from friends and relatives they hadn't heard from in a while."

The postcards are now displayed on a map of the United States hanging from a window in a Starside hallway.

Fourth-grader Amber White said she learned the state fish of Minnesota was a walleye, while Gretchyn Reeves said the most interesting thing she learned was that Salt Lake City, Utah, will host the Winter Olympics next year.

Becca Janes scored a coup by receiving the only postcard from Alaska. She received the card from a friend whose father is a missionary in the state.

"I learned it was the 49th state," the fourth-grader said.

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