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Washington JUMP “Pirates” Learn More About Core Subjects While Having Fun

Washington JUMP students found their treasure chest in the Lakeview Cemetery, by following clues and a map, as part of their pirate-themed summer learning, which incorporated ELA, math, science and social studies in engaging activities.

“What is on your treasure map?” asked Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist.

Washington Middle School seventh and eighth grade students showed him their map and said he was included in their clue.

“What’s the final clue? Maybe I can help you find it!”

“He’s in charge. His building is large. He’s the face of it all. Go to City Hall!” read the students.

Mayor Sundquist led the students into City Hall’s lobby. The kids searched, and found, the treasure chest hidden behind the Security wall. The students and their teachers were finishing up one of three, different treasure hunts around the city. The treasure hunts were the culminating activity for their summer project-based learning – all about pirates.

Teachers Kari Cunningham, Maggie Dalton, Danielle Ellis and Rachel Stowe, brainstormed the pirate theme so that they could easily tie all four core subjects, ELA, math, science and social studies, together.

“We wanted to make it fun for the kids!” said Mrs. Ellis. “Pirates was an easy concept to break apart into all subject areas. We hope the kids take the skills they have learned from the program and apply them to the upcoming school year. Many subjects we touched are used in the seventh and eighth grade curriculum. Students also got to know their community better, see the awesome opportunities available in Jamestown, and to take advantage of the great city we live in!”

Students participated in many pirate-themed activities over the summer to build up to the final treasure hunts. In ELA, students worked on reading comprehension, making inferences and clue writing, which is how the groups created the clues for the treasure hunt. In math and science, students learned more about chemical reactions, density and buoyancy, including creating group t-shirts with tie-dye, designing ships to see if they could float, and even baking sea biscuits that the pirates ate in the past. Social studies was all about maps and mapmaking, a skill the students used while searching Jamestown for their treasure, by easily reading the maps to find coordinates.

“Using project-based learning is so effective because when everything is related, transitioning from class to class is easier and all the teachers could reference the other subjects,” said Mrs. Ellis.

Washington’s JUMP program would like to thank the many community businesses and organizations that helped make the treasure hunt a success. Wegmans donated items. Over the three hunts, Blackstone, Jamestown Community College, 7/11, Lakeview Cemetery, Prendergast Library, National Comedy Center, Jamestown Skate Park, the Jamestown Fire & Police Departments, Love and Ring Elementary Schools and Washington staff, all gave out clues and the treasure chests.

“Everyone was so wonderful and we took a picture at each spot! The kids loved meeting community members and to have them support our students just means the world to us!” said Mrs. Ellis. “The kids loved the treasure hunt and getting to participate in Mrs. Dalton’s awesome physical education classes that touched on different sports each week like rollerblading too.”

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