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Sixth grade sledding trip launches ‘Engaged and authentic learning’

by WayneTimes.com
March 20, 2022

In February, LCSD sixth graders ventured to Greystone Tubing in Walworth, NY for an experience that was much more than a fun day outside — though they had plenty of that, too. 

The idea for the trip originated in discussions about the book The Giver, a novel by Lois Lowry, which includes a sledding scene. It was discovered that more than two-thirds of the sixth grade class had never been sledding due to a lack of nearby public hills within walking distance. 

Sixth grade science teacher Ms. Melody Williams began organizing the trip, which she described as “something every child needs to experience.” 

A student walks uphill with their tube.Ms. Williams later wrote to parents and community members on Facebook about the success of the adventure: “With the help of many adults in our district, at BOCES, and at Greystone, we were able to bring 52 students on one awesome field trip to remedy this situation.”

Ms. Williams noted that academic connections were made at Greystone as well: the students had been studying thermal energy and weather, so they learned how snow is made, why it is an insulator and also how it impacts culture in parts of the country that get a great deal of snowfall each year. 

“While on the trip, the kids also enjoyed talking about the science behind a bunch of creative ways they found to cool off their hot chocolate, and the science and math behind how to go fastest and how Greystone can slow people down to not get hurt,” Ms. Williams said.

Upon returning from the trip, students planned to draw from these experiences to write a story or poem of their own to connect back to The Giver. 

“This was the most engaged and authentic learning I have seen from some of them all year,” Ms. Williams said. “Nothing makes me happier than seeing kids overcome fear, build confidence, (and) connect with new friends.”

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