CLARKSVILLE — On any given day, if one would ask fourth-grade students attending Clinton-Massie Elementary School how many states made up the United States, students would respond that there were 50. But for a brief period of time, that number increased to 68 when enrichment students were presented with the challenge of creating a state and hosting a State Fair Exhibition.
Fourth-grade language arts and social studies teacher Alex Laux, math and science teacher Amanda Hof, gifted intervention specialist teacher Jill Binau, and gifted coordinator Curt Bradshaw worked together to coordinate the project that would challenge students to expand their creative and critical thinking abilities as they conducted research, evaluated credibility and applied valuable evidence for informative purposes.
Students worked with partners to complete four components that focused on the state, geography, mathematics, and government. In part, students worked within a budget of $53,782,102 to purchase land priced at $100,000 per 640 acres. They focused on their state’s perimeter in miles, area in square miles, and population per square miles and were required to show their math work to validate their findings.
Students drew state maps that included scales and legends in addition to state capitals and boarders with other states, and students designed state flags and symbols and drafted state mottos and constitutions.
It was a challenging assignment, but students rose to the occasion and celebrated their newly-formed states by formally introducing them to the public during the “State Fair Exhibition” where several parents, grandparents, siblings and teachers were in attendance.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.