Sporting wide-brimmed hats and clothing with a traditional Aussie look, third-graders at Olander Elementary School for Project-Based Learning were the experts as they gave visitors tours through their “Wonders Down Under” museum.
The floor-to-ceiling museum featured information and realistic artifacts about Australia’s ocean, jungle and Outback. The museum also included a hands-on creation station where visitors could enjoy making artwork.
To create the museum, third-graders took on a variety of responsibilities, including:
• Researcher and Author: Working in partners, they researched an Australian topic, took notes and wrote a paragraph.
• Artifact Creator: Constructed a realistic artifact of their topic to display in the museum
• Museum Job: Applied for and were hired for museum positions ranging from admission officers, tour guides to activity directors and maintenance technicians. They created products such as a pamphlets, advertisements, comment cards, or an activity to enhance visitors’ understanding of Australia.
“This was authentic learning. They had to be researchers, create artifacts and apply for jobs. The students have worn three different hats for this,” said Kris Odenbaugh, Olander third-grade teacher. “This helps students be ready academically and socially for the 21st century.”