Caledonia High School’s ninth-grade world history and creative writing classes got a chance to share their discoveries and writing skills with third-graders from Kettle Lake Elementary School recently.
After researching more than a dozen Old World explorers and writing children’s books about each explorer, some 60 students of high school English teacher Megan Ley and World History teacher Payshence Uyl played host to 77 visitors from the nearby elementary school.
Ley and Uyl encouraged their students to get creative as they learned about the elements of a short story and developed plot structures to tell a historical story in a fictional style.
The visiting third-graders also gave her students an authentic audience for their work product, Ley said. “Ultimately, our goal is to work with a publishing company,” she said.
As they researched and explored the Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan, Mady Tanner and Tori Woodwyk decided the world traveler would need a mascot if they were going to tell his story to third-grade readers. So they created “Bunni” for their presentation about the first explorer to travel around the world.
For the third-graders, the stories were designed to build their reading vocabulary and introduce them to the topic of world history.
Elena Noakes, a third-grade teacher at Kettle Lake, said her pupils had been introduced to Michigan explorers. The stories about world explorers exposed them to a higher level of learning, she said.
“It gets them to see what they will be doing as they get older,” Noakes said.
Sean McLaughlin, Kettle Lake’s principal, said the field trip exposes his school’s pupils to the type of lessons they will learn when they get to high school.