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Pure Michigan, from land to air to water

Third-graders across the district start the year learning about the official state symbols.

Northview — Third-graders across the district started the school year learning about Michigan’s official state symbols. 

In Amy Schelhaas’ West Oakview classroom, for instance, Shayla Macon can tell you that the state fish is a brook trout. She chose to research the colorful freshwater dwellers because, she said, “it’s just fun going swimming with fish and seeing them under water.” She added that brook trout eat insects and worms, and that “I’m pretty sure they can survive, like, three weeks without food if they have to.”

Jack Barecki focused on the state wildflower, the dwarf lake iris. “It just looks like a cool flower,” he said of the threatened purple flower that grows only along the northern shores of lakes Huron and Michigan. 

Schelhaas said the project aligns with third-graders’ geography and social studies unit.

“They have many options to choose from, and when they have the choice they take ownership,” she said.

Read more from Northview: 
It’s all about the mitten state
Figuring out problems, not just learning about them

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Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a reporter and copy editor, covering Northview. She is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio


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