History Field Trip Brings Fifth Graders to High School

5th graders enter the High School for the first time (Gillian Horner)

On Tuesday, May 9th, 2023, 5th graders from Winthrop Elementary School came to visit HWRHS to collaborate with the 9th graders and participate in different activities based on the topics that both grades had been studying.

Some of the topics included the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution. Specifically the Scientific Revolution because the 9th graders had recently written children’s books about that topic in their history class. This was the main inspiration for this field trip.

Ninth-grade World History teachers Kristen Borges and Nicholas Ristaino worked with Winthrop Elementary School teacher, Bryan Sheckells to organize this event because they knew that both the 9th and 5th graders were learning about similar topics.

Shekells said, “I found out about the children’s books, and I said maybe we should bring some children, and they can read the books to us. Then we decided to take the opportunity to expand the kids’ knowledge by scheduling a fun activity day.”  

The 5th graders arrived at the high school at 9 am on Tuesday. Upon arrival, they were then separated into smaller groups named for different types of pasta: dilatini, tortellini, spaghetti, and rotini.

9th graders were dispersed amongst each group to supervise and help with the activities. Each group went to four different stations:

  • The Museum Art Heist, where the kids learned about different Renaissance artists
  • The Makerspace in the Library, where they made telescopes
  • The Scientific Revolution Children’s Book reading station, where they read books the 9th grade had written
  • The Renaissance, Protestant Reformation, and Scientific Revolution Kahoot. 

Every station throughout the day was fun for both grades. All the stations helped to teach both classes to collaborate. Each class was able to learn something new and interesting. The day ended at around 11, and the 5th and 9th graders said goodbye.

Fifth grader Emma said that she enjoyed building the Constellation telescopes in the maker space. She was a little intimidated by the size of the school, which seemed to be a theme among the fifth graders. However, as a whole, she enjoyed her time, especially learning about some of the paintings at the art heist station.

Two 5th graders enjoy spending time with the therapy dog Frisco at the art heist station (Taylor Aptt)

Borges already has ideas for next year, such as a meet and greet so that the 5th graders can get to know the 9th graders before jumping straight into the activities. Extending the amount of time the fifth graders visited would allow for a more collaborative event.

Additionally, given the larger ratio of 9th graders to fifth graders, teachers are looking at inviting all three elementary schools next year. It will give all the 5th graders a chance to experience high school and learn more about history in a fun and interesting way.   This would also allow for more stations to be included and, thus more activities during the visitation. 

Overall, the field trip enabled the fifth graders to have the opportunity to experience the high school while also expanding their knowledge about previously studied topics.