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MHS students turn classroom into time machine

April 5, 2016

Visitors to room 227 in Monticello High School on Friday, April 1, were able to visit the Kaaba, watch a field of soldiers fight aa student poses with her Roman Empire display Crusade battle and witness the Western Roman Empire descend into anarchy. While they didn’t create a time machine, students in Catherine Sagnis’ ninth grade honors Global Geography class created the next best thing -- a “3D Gallery Walk” where they displayed three-dimensional projects illustrating various world events throughout the years 500-1500 C.E.

Students worked independently, or collaborated with a classmate to create not only a three-dimensional project, but to also write a historical narrative and an analysis.

Staff and administrators visited the classroom, pausing at displays to ask students questions about their projects. As they fielded questions, the students confidently gave in-depth explanations about the events they had chosen as their topic.

“We wanted to showcase some inventions from the Islamic Golden Age,” student Evie Panzarino said, as she pointed to college flags, a toothbrush and a compass, representing developments in education, hygiene and mathematics. “It’s incredible how much of what we have today came from the Islamic Golden Age.”
a student poses with a pyramid showing the feudal caste system
“Creating this project gave me a visual understanding of a peasant’s life in the middle ages,” student Desiree Edwards, who gathered sticks outdoors and used them to construct a replica peasant house said. “It was much more interesting than reading about it in a textbook.”

“Projects such as these address both academic and life skills,” Ms. Sagnis said. “Academic skills include research for accuracy of evidence, information analysis, proper language use, proper writing format, and citation skills. Life skills include time management, clarity of both written and face to face communication, independent thinking, supporting a position, and problem solving.”

“After completing this project, it helped me to have a different understanding about different cultures and religions,” student Luke Sagnis said. “It helps me to share that knowledge with other people.”