How do you use KIDS DISCOVER creatively in the classroom? For Jeff Reed, a 4th grade teacher at Sag Harbor Elementary School, KIDS DISCOVER isn’t just a tool for reading and learning– it’s a catalyst for innovation in the classroom. When Jeff approached us with his idea to hold a classroom trial of King George III using KIDS DISCOVER American Revolution and KIDS DISCOVER The Constitution as his students’ sole resources, we were thrilled. We were also curious enough to come visit Jeff’s class and watch the mock trial unfold.
The students embraced the project and were excited to actively take part in history– or, rather, “mock” history. The students were first split into 3 groups: Loyalists, Revolutionaries, and Jurors. Then, using facts and information from KIDS DISCOVER, both the Loyalists and the Revolutionaries were able to build their respective cases. Jeff found that the format of KIDS DISCOVER enabled students to find the information they needed to form and support their arguments. “When the child gets to hone in on what interests them, it means they are taking control of their own learning,” Jeff told us. “That’s what I love about this format. No matter where the students were, I never had to say ‘Did you guys read pages 14 through 15?’ They were already there.” The students were energetic and inquisitive throughout the day, and were genuinely happy to be applying — not just memorizing — what they had learned.
King George III was ultimately found guilty by the jurors, and the students erupted into applause as the verdict was announced. It was a memorable day not just for Jeff and his class, but for everyone here at KIDS DISCOVER. Our special thanks goes out to Sag Harbor Elementary for allowing us to be a part of such an exciting project, as students and teachers like them inspire us to create content that’s engaging, educational, and fun.