Presenting Your Case for a Place

Virginia DeNucci
REACH Teacher (Gifted/Talented)
White Bear Lake Schools

I teach GT (Gifted/Talented) students and I open up the Journey North adventure as a class for 4th and 5th graders that meets once a week. (Since I work in 3 buildings, this was a total of about 30 students) Each student is assigned one Mystery City.

As a team, the students share all the information about their photoperiods - and later their research clues. Students are given a Journey North journal with specific assignments to be completed and discussed. The week in which the final predictions are due, each student is expected to "present his/her case" including reasons (proof) to support each clue. Each student creates a poster presentation to help explain their reasoning. After the Mystery Cities have been revealed, the students conduct further research about foods native to their Mystery City country. They are to find a recipe from that country, make it, and bring it to the final class, which is our "ethnic picnic".

Journey North is an excellent program for my students. They have so much fun - but at the same time they are learning so much - and the best part is that they APPLY their research skills in a real life situation. I find the students working as a team - helping each other out - giving feedback to reasoning. (This is not always common among Gifted students, so I see this as an excellent avenue to practice collaboration.)

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