Hamden Hall Country Day School

Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

Virtual Field Trip Leads To Hands-On Map Project

Grade 3 students created 3D models of the state of Connecticut in a cross-curricular learning project that honed both their science and social studies skills.

Students in Emily Anderson’s classroom started with a virtual field trip to the Whitney Water Center, where they learned about pollution and its effects on the environment. Further discussions ensued in their science classes with Lower School science teacher Claire Rich, who also collaborated on the project.

“Students were surprised to learn that basic everyday activities can affect the water quality in their community,” said Miss Anderson.

Meanwhile, in their social studies classes, the third-graders learned about the special geographical features in their home state – such as the fact that the Connecticut River starts in Canada and flows all the way into Long Island Sound (a class favorite, Miss Anderson said!). They also mastered the use of cardinal directions, which had to be incorporated in their models.

“When you allow students to combine their knowledge of a topic with a hands-on activity or project, it brings that topic to life for them. I loved seeing each student put their own personal touch on their Connecticut Map Projects, making them unique in their own special way,” noted Miss Anderson.

In making the 3D models, students had to locate their hometowns, the state capital, Hamden Hall, and the Connecticut River. According to Miss Anderson, students enjoyed viewing town maps and identifying where their peers live in relation to their homes.

In prepping for the cartography component of the project, Mrs. Rich pre-cut cardboard for students to use. Other materials included tissue paper, toothpicks, stickers, paint, and more.

Lower School Director Lorri Carroll said the students were “so excited” to share their models when she stopped by their classroom to view the project undertaking in action!

“Their breadth and depth of understanding about the state of Connecticut was immediately evident and their engagement level was sky high. They use planning, critical thinking, reasoning, and creativity. No book or paper and pencil activity could effectively accomplish the same thing,” she said.

Hamden Hall Country Day School

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Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.