Mt. Vernon Register-News

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March 21, 2014

Students build model community

MT. VERNON — Third grade students in Shelly Brose’s class at the Primary Center recently took part in a special project to construct a model “classroom community.”

This community — featuring miniature hospitals, a courthouse, a post office, restaurants, a fire station and more — was on full display Thursday as the students got a chance to show off their buildings to other classes at the Primary Center.

The project was the brainchild of Brose’s student teacher Emily VanHoorebeke, a student at Southern Illinois University.

As part of the effort, VanHoorebeke asked Brose’s students each to construct a model building for the classroom community.

VanHoorebeke said the goal of the project was to teach students about the physical characteristics

of a community, as well as issues like adapting to the environment and comparing communities.

“It builds a sense of community,” VanHoorebeke said. “It shows them how important a community is and how they can play a part in their community.”

Letters were sent home with Brose’s students, asking parents to help their children with the project.

Students were encouraged to construct their model buildings out of “beautiful junk” such as milk cartons, shoe boxes, paper towel rolls, tissue paper, twigs, construction paper, rocks, sand, toothpicks and more.

The final products were then graded on “details, organization, neatness and creativity,” VanHoorebeke said.

“They had to give me details and if it depicts the true look of a building,” VanHoorebeke said. “I didn’t want to really give them too much instruction on this. I wanted them to take it and create it, so this is really all their (own).”

Third grader Kieran White, 8, built a hospital and doctor’s office for the project. He constructed the models out of cardboard and red-and-white colored paper.

“I just like hospitals,” White said.

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