Kingsford history students take part in interactive projects

Kingsford history students with certificates from sponsors, from left, Eli Salin, Maggie Strehlow, Grace Cole, Colin Watkins, Mario Occhietti, Ethan Batti, Kyle Caldwell, Sydney Micheau

KINGSFORD — History takes a hands on approach in Jessica Garvaglia’s classroom.

The Kingsford High School history teacher believes in project-based learning to get students engaged and using higher level thinking skills to connect with the content.

History is often thought of as a boring subject and kids often ask, “Why do we need to learn this? Why does it matter what happened that long ago?”

“At KHS we strive to make history come alive for our students and make big real world connections so they can understand why we study the past,” she said. “We talk about how history shapes where we are today and how we need to learn from history so we move forward as a society rather than repeat mistakes of the past.” Garvaglia is a firm believer in project based learning because when students can see and interact with content, it becomes exciting and they take ownership of their learning.

“As our future leaders and citizens, they will shape what our society becomes, and as a teacher it is her ultimate goal to have well-rounded individuals that change our world for the better. The youth are our future and I have the most rewarding and impactful job to help be able to change our world through them,” she said.

U.S. History Winner Zoie Geronimi

In U.S. History students create models of World War I tanks, planes, submarines or trenches. The students also research the WWI weapon so they can understand how it was cutting edge technology in its time period. To also engage STEM, the students are encouraged to make the weapon move and tank, plane, and submarine races are held in the history hallway of KHS.

Students in the World History class interact with the younger students by voting on who had the best model and content from WWI. This year students selected Zoie Geronimi as the best with her WWI trench project. They also recognized Trestan Larson for his WWI trench. Chloe Hull and Lexi Roe were recognized for their metal welded WWI tank. As the first place selection Geronimi gets her name engraved on the WWI US History trophy and bragging rights in the KHS History Department.

World History students also engage in project based learning when studying WWI. The students in this class create weapons trailers in which they teach about a weapon of WWI but in a movie trailer format. The students create these videos and enter into a bracket in which the freshmen vote on first round to determine who did it best. The videos in the sweet 16 then move over to the seniors to vote on. The elite eight are voted on by the Senior AP English students.

The final four is then voted on by the office secretaries until there are only two that remain. The final two are voted on by high school Principal Lyle Smithson and Assistant Principal Doug Roberts. This project engages all of the students in the high school and is a way to re-enforce the curriculum in a fun way across the grade levels.

This year the winner of the KHS History Department, and bragging rights, was Ren Thorne and Logan Mitchell.

World History winners Logan Mitchell, left, and Ren Thorne.

Area businesses supported Garvaglia and her project based learning by donating prizes for the winners. Special thanks goes to Walmart, Culvers, Dominos, Pizza Hut, Thomas Theater, Hardees, A&W, and Papa Murphy’s for supporting this interactive lesson.