WIND POINT — The Prairie School’s Primary School was transformed into a mini museum with the students in the role of docents. This was the culmination of a yearlong project.
Every other year The Prairie School’s Primary School Division becomes involved in a”Museum In Progress” project, based on the work of author/educator, Peg Koetsch. This year’s theme was, “There’s No Place Like Home,” which offered vast potential for exploration and study, depending on how one chose to interpret it. Each grade, prekindergarten (early school) through grade four showcased a different aspect of their year’s focus and study, in an array of creative exhibits united by a cohesive storyline: ‘There’s No Place Like Home!’ This was The Prairie School’s sixth museum project and was developed to an even deeper understanding for students, their families and teachers, due to the guidance and assistance of the author of “Learning on Display, Student-Centered Museums That Build Understanding,” Linda D’Acquisto.
The youngest exhibit creators, the early school classes, presented to guests on their own homes in an exhibit titled, “Home is Where the Heart Is.” Each student, with the help of their family, created a model of their own home. The kindergarten exhibits titled, “Animal Architects … Everybody Needs a Home,” featured animals and their habitats, with student docents dressed as various animals teaching what they had learned with great authority and knowledge.
The first-grade classes focused on “The Earth” as our home, while the second-grade classes widened the scope and shared what they had studied and researched on “Our Place in Space.”
The third-grade exhibits titled “Our Home: Respect and Responsibility,” focused on teaching and inspiring an awareness of our water resources, the problems they are facing with pollution and how each of us can become involved in safeguarding the Great Lakes. The third-graders had completed a water study, and, over the course of the school year, cleaned up
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700 pounds of garbage from the portion of the Wind Point Beach that they had adopted.
The fourth-grade classes showcased how homes are shaped by tradition and displayed a variety of life-size American Indian dwellings as well as a walk through time focusing on Wisconsin’s history, geography and people.
Another special feature of this year’s Museum was an exhibit about Frank Lloyd Wright, titled, “Frank Lloyd Wright, Architectural Genius in our Backyard.” The “Wright Team,” comprising of seven third-graders, explored the life and work of the famous architect. Their exhibit featured Lego architecture of Fallingwater and The Guggenheim Museum in New York, as well as an art glass panel that they had created, inspired by the Avery Coonley Playhouse windows designed by Wright.
A schoolwide effort that was on display was the “Homes for Haiti” pins and refrigerator magnets made by students and sold throughout the Museum week. Proceeds will be sent to Haiti to assist with the rebuilding taking place after the recent earthquake.
Three-hundred and twenty students from Jerstad Agerholm Elementary school toured the museum exhibits and provided this feedback: “I truly liked the sun exhibit. I learned many new things about the sun,” wrote Timothy. “I especially liked the animal habitat exhibits,” wrote Meriona. “It was so cool that I couldn’t choose which exhibit was best!” wrote Lindsey. This was truly a year to remember at The Prairie School.