How much do you know about the state you live in?
Students at Beaty-Warren Middle School have been studying Pennsylvania extensively. Pam Nasman, seventh-grade Social Studies teacher, said it was the biggest project she's ever done with them.
Seventh graders spent the semester writing books about Pennsylvania, Nasman said, and each included 26 different articles. They put them in bare books and also provided illustrations.
Times Observer photo by Colin Kyler
Brianna Childs, left, and Seth Baldensperger, right, display their Pennsylvania books.
Pennsylvania culture is part of the curriculum, Nasman said, and a grant provided for supplies and materials. In the past, she said she had students make blank books.
For 13 weeks, Nasman said students visited the computer lab on Fridays. After researching their topics, she said their work was corrected.
They also had to provide poems on each subject, Nasman said, and put them in alphabetical order. The project is based on the book "K is for Keystone."
Last Wednesday, the authors read their poetry to South Street Early Learning Center students. Their poems were written in Lynn Shultz's Language Arts classes, Nasman said, and Shultz then compiled them into a book for some of the seventh-grade students. Also, the students shared their Pennsylvania books and poetry with their families at an author's tea on Friday, May 25.
While topics varied, Nasman said the Great Dane was featured in most of the books since it is the state dog. Another popular topic was the oil industry, she said, as well as famous Pennsylvanians and sports teams.
"They learned a lot about Pennsylvania they wouldn't have if they hadn't done this," Nasman said.
Within the class, Nasman said students were divided into literature groups of four to five members. They discussed their work in full paragraphs, she said, and got needed concentration in nonfiction texts.
"It was hard for me as a teacher to let go, but it proved rewarding for them to take ownership," Nasman said.
Seth Baldensperger said he thought the project was fun but also hard work. The essays proved difficult, he said, as well as coming up with poems.
Brianna Childs agreed it was a fun project. She found it hard to catch up on work she missed.
As a result, Childs said she learned to keep up with work. Baldensperger said he learned not to put things off.
"I learned there are more things to Pennsylvania than you think," Baldensperger said.
Drawing was Baldensperger's favorite aspect. For Childs, she said she enjoyed getting the project finished.