’Tis the season to learn for H.H. Garnet students
CHESTERTOWN — Fourth-graders at H.H. Garnet Elementary School got to be creative and festive while learning more about their town.
With the help of their teacher Dawn Reilly, students made plans for, constructed and decorated gingerbread houses modeled after buildings in Chestertown and at Washington College.
Reilly said the idea for the project came from something she would do each year at a school she previously taught at in New Jersey.
First, her students took a walking tour of Chestertown and the college Dec. 7 with iPads. Reilly called the tour a scavenger hunt, in which students had to find certain buildings in town and take pictures of them.
Then the students worked in small groups to identify a building they wanted to construct out of gingerbread. The boys created buildings from Washington College while the girls crafted landmarks in Chestertown.
Students created gingerbread versions of WC’s soccer field as well as some of its academic buildings. They also created a gingerbread Garfield Center for the Arts, Stam Hall, the Kitchen at the Imperial, the Fish Whistle restaurant and more. They even included docks at the Chester River and water in the Hebe Fountain in Fountain Park.
The students also had to research information and history about their buildings, which they would present later to Reilly’s former school through a Skype call to New Jersey on Friday, Dec. 14.
Students found out information like how old the build- ings are, what they have been used for and even if some are haunted.
Reilly said the project is part of a larger organization that connects schools around the world. Each school creates a gingerbread town and tells what they learned about their town through a Skype call with another school. Reilly said at her previous school, her class Skyped with an elementary school in Austria.
She said this program is something she hopes to grow at Garnet as well as share with other teachers in the county.
Her students also showed the display to other students in fourth grade as well as other grades at Garnet.
The students said creating the gingerbread houses took about two days to complete.
While Reilly said there were a few instances of trial and error, the construction of the houses was fun.
Parents donated most of the supplies with Reilly purchasing some as well, she said. Reilly also thanked parents for supplying a near endless amount of icing for “glueing” all the pieces of the gingerbread together.
Additionally, Reilly used Quick Response codes to link some of the buildings with webpages to provide more information for viewers.
She said while she did the technical work this year, she plans to have her students learn it next year.
Dawn Reilly’s fourth-graders smile for the camera around a gingerbread version of Chestertown Thursday, Dec. 13 at H.H. Garnet Elementary School in Chestertown. The students crafted a town, which they then displayed to an elementary school in New Jersey.