By Morgan Kennedy
With the creation of a new social studies curriculum, tenth grade students will have the opportunity to apply classroom studies to a visual, hands-on scavenger hunt in Boston that the history department already tested out.
The history department recently used a professional development day to conduct a trial run for the scavenger hunt. According to Jewett, the trial was successful overall.
“The experience gave us insight into logistical issues like transportation, clue design, and site locations. It gave us great ideas on both pre and post field trip classroom curriculum,” he said.
According to Department Chair Daniel Jewett, a curriculum focused on colonial America will be created and taught in tenth grade history classes during the fall of 2011.
After the classroom material is covered, students will take a field trip to Boston. Participating in this activity based on the television show “The Amazing Race,” students will break into teams and compete against each other in a race to locate and document historical landmarks around the city.
Such sites include Paul Revere’s house and the USS Constitution. The curriculum will close with a final assessment including content from the classroom as well as the field trip.
After receiving a clue, each group will locate a specific landmark using a GPS device where they will take pictures and videos of the site. They will be able to recognize its significance based on studies previously completed in the classroom.
Jewett said the Amazing Race will benefit students by combining the classroom with Boston’s historical background.
“This would take something off the textbook page and fuse it with a city of amazing American history, a city that the students are so connected to,” he said.
History teacher James Wallimann said the experience will help students with different learning strategies to better absorb and understand the content of the curriculum.
“The fact that it is an interactive project will keep them more interested in the topic, and visual learners will be able to retain the information a little better,” he said.
According to Wallimann, a pilot program will be put together for current tenth-graders to be run in the spring, before introducing the first full program next year.
Freshman Lizzi White is looking forward to the trip to Boston.
“I am really excited about the new curriculum. It will give us a chance to explore the city,” she said.