I n n o v a t i v e H a n d s-O n L e a r n i n g
INTERACT simulations are created by teachers for teachers and include teacher's guides, daily lesson plans, student materials and support materials. INTERACT simulations are available in math, science, language arts, history, government & economics, global education, geography and character education.
These innovative and creative hands-on units are particularly successful at engaging boys and girls physically and mentally with "being there" experiences.
Over the course of the year, the 6th grade enjoys simulations in Ancient Egypt Greek Mythology, the Olympics and Ancient Rome.
The class’ simulation of “Ancient Egyptian Civilizations” was divided into six phases called cataracts. The students “sailed” the Nile from its source in Africa to where it flows into the Mediterranean. Each cataract focuses on different aspects of Egyptian history, culture, or geography. To navigate these divisions, students completed a series of requirements while traveling as citizens of one of five ancient cities. Sample tasks included making a 3-D map of the Nile valley; using Egyptian numbers and hieroglyphs; constructing masks to wear in the afterworld; studying Ancient Egyptian myths, religion, art, and architecture; creating costumes; and participating in a festival and living museum.
In the simulation of the “History and Culture of Ancient Greece,” students role-played as citizens of five city-states to actively learn about the history and culture of Greece. In the nine phases of this involving, two-volume simulation, players earn points by completing exercises that explore democracy, geography, religion, art and drama, math and science, and the lasting impact of Greek civilization. Teams built their own temples, produced mini-dramas, participated in athletic events, and debated the day's important issues.
Last year’s fifth grade was the first to try out these simulations with several units that tied in directly with their curriculum. Their Code Blue simulation, for example, tied in with their science curriculum on the human body and covered six major body systems. Working in cooperative learning groups, students studied a specialty - the circulatory, respiratory, nervous, digestive, muscular/skeletal, and immune systems - and taught their teammates about the inner workings of the human body through self-created visual aids. Research and critical-thinking skills are put into action as students used Code Cards to "see" their first patient and learn about public health issues. The students then showcased their knowledge at Grand Rounds, presenting their most compelling cases to parents and students.
These innovative academic programs, and other like them, are being rolled out in different grades to enhance the school’s rigorous core curriculum.