The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 8, 2014

Concord students bring whale to Daniels school

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

— Students at Daniels Elementary had “A Whale of a Time” on Monday, as Concord University education majors guided the youngsters through learning stations surrounding a life-size construction of a whale inside the gymnasium.

Lethea Smith, an assistant professor of education at Concord, said the program is part of a collaborative effort to build relationships with partner schools.

“We want to offer their students learning opportunities and increase our students’ time in public classrooms,” Smith said.

She said the CU seniors are given a chance to practice their lesson plans and teaching strategies on a fun project.

The CU students used 100 feet of plastic sheeting to make the life-size whale, which only took one afternoon to build.

At the learning stations, the elementary students can learn what keeps Arctic animals warm, whale habitats, vocabulary terms associated with whales and they can even walk through the inside of the life-size construction of the whale.

“The looks on the kids’ faces have been priceless. They have been very excited,” Smith said.

She also said the experience is invaluable for CU education majors, as they have the chance to receive immediate feedback on their lesson plans, and improve them as needed.

CU students, along with the whale, have visited classrooms in Mercer, Raleigh and Greenbrier counties so far, and Smith said they hope to continue their outreach to other schools.

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