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Sixth Graders Bring Classroom Learning to Life!
By: Debbie Brummit, Jim Holmes, Larry Huusko, Julie LaConte, and Erin Moore
Rossman’s curriculum is rich and full, and the field trip that the sixth graders take in the spring exemplifies this yet again! Each spring the sixth graders enjoy a four-day and three-night trip, which incorporates language arts, social studies, and science.
This year, all 25 students and five teachers headed out on the morning of Tuesday, April 10. Eager and excited, we loaded the bus for the first destination Shiloh, Tennessee. We toured the Shiloh Battlefields with Hal, an expert on this intense battle between the Union and Confederate armies. After an extensive unit of study in social studies, the students were enamored with a real life rifle demonstration. They also saw Bloody Pond, The Hornets’ Nest, Pittsburgh Landing, and sat in a replica of the Shiloh Church. We finished the evening with a delicious dinner together as a class, and headed to our hotel for the night in Alabama.
The next morning, we gathered for breakfast, loaded back on the bus, and headed off to our next stop, Helen Keller’s home. In sixth grade, students read the play, “The Miracle Worker,” which is the story of Helen Keller, and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. The students were greeted with Southern hospitality at “Ivy Green” the name of the Keller Homestead. Each child had the opportunity to touch the famous pump where Helen spoke her first word, “Water.” Talk about bringing the setting of a story to life!
Next, the excitement was in the air as we drove toward Huntsville, Alabama for SPACE CAMP! The trip seemed to meet every child’s expectation. Space Shot, the simulator, is always a highlight. The students shot up in the air and experienced zero gravity, almost like they were launching in a Saturn V rocket. G-Force, the multi-axis trainer, and virtual reality machines helped students understand what it might feel like to be an astronaut. Students built rockets and enjoyed shooting them off into the wild blue yonder. Some landed in a place where they could be retrieved, while other rockets landed in the trees of space camp, joining hundreds of others in the infamous “Rocket Hall of Fame.” The students enjoyed simulating a space mission, and both Rossman teams successfully worked through several “Houston, we have a problem” situations. Through cooperation and hard work, the students solved each problem landing their craft successfully. Thursday evening, the students shined again as they brought home first and second place in the camp-wide Space Bowl. Way to go Rossman.
After space camp, we headed back toward St. Louis. On the way back we drove through Memphis, Tennessee and had the opportunity to stop at The National Civil Rights Museum. This museum is built inside of the Lorraine Motel, the place where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The students stood in awe at the different exhibits in the building, and it was clear through their focus that they were soaking up information. They made many connections between our historical fiction novel read in language arts called, Lions of Little Rock. They also understood much because of an extensive social studies unit on the Civil Rights Movement. They listened to King’s last speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” before quietly walking into his hotel room. Not only were the Rossman teachers impressed with the students’ focus, questions, and comments, but other visitors complimented their behavior as well. As always, our students made us very proud.
We were happy to safely return on Friday evening. All teachers and students were exhausted, yet fulfilled. Each child was ready for some rest over the weekend, but returned to school on Monday eager to reflect on the memories and lessons learned.
Rossman School, nestled on a 20-acre campus in Creve Coeur, is an independent preparatory school for students in Junior Kindergarten (four years old) through Grade 6. The school’s mission is to provide a strong, well-balanced education in a nurturing school community committed to excellence. Dedicated to developing personal, nurturing relationships with each child, Rossman’s experienced educators provide a solid foundation in academics, athletics and arts while emphasizing strong character development and leadership skills. Request a free Rossman School brochure here.