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GCMS eighth-graders ‘virtually’ survive extreme situations to write about, share experiences with expert practitioners

“Virtual” technology, inspiration from contemporary television, old-fashioned imagination, and feedback from emergency experts combined for a unique writing project recently at Graves County Middle School.

“Students fill out a report card at the beginning of the school year, telling what they want to learn,” said Graves County Middle School teacher Kristin Phillips. “So, I took those ideas and created a survival project. The gist is they had to research and create a survival kit that would help them survive for 39 days.”

“We got to choose where we wanted to survive and what items we needed to survive that place,” said student Ethan Delapp. “Then, we had a natural disaster we had to fight our way through and we had to write eight log-ins for our story of how we survived.”

“Each student created a web site through the new Google Sites,” Phillips explained. “We had one day of virtual reality, so they could really describe their natural disasters. It was a collaborative project with English classes for the writing element, where they each wrote a full narrative. Today, we showed our projects to our guests, who students suggested to invite. They include police, firefighters, the Coast Guard, 4-H, and someone from Discovery Park of America. They’re evaluating our projects. So, I’m excited!”

(photo caption)

Graves County Middle School eighth-grader Connor Adams (seated) addresses a question from Eva Rodriguez of the Graves County Schools, as she, student Ethan Delapp and teacher Kristin Phillips listen. “Virtual” technology, inspiration from contemporary television, old-fashioned imagination, and feedback from emergency experts combined for a unique writing project recently at Graves County Middle School.

(photo by Paul Schaumburg, Graves County Schools)

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