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Beyond The Textbook

Posted on by WSM Middle School

Going beyond the textbook.

Middle School’s ability to take students beyond the classroom and become immersed in real-life situations regarding their studies is one thing that makes us unique. Rather than gathering knowledge solely from textbooks/internet sources and video, we have the fantastic opportunity to go out into the community and see it for ourselves. The textbook comes to life right before our eyes, as the pictures jump out and become a reality.

In Middle School’s first science cycle, we focused on different energy sources and their positives and negatives. We were assigned to an energy source, assigned either the “pros” or “cons” perspective, and gathered information to present a debate to the class. In addition we also studied our global footprints, which is the impact we as humans have on our Earth. We went in depth on many subtopics under “a global footprint,” including where our water comes from, how it’s treated, and what happens to our trash.

After studying for some time and analyzing our textbooks and articles, the Middle School class took multiple trips into the community, including the City of Toledo Wastewater Treatment Plant, a wind farm in Bowling Green, and landfill in Bowling Green. It was fantastic to see what we had been studying right in front of us, and we deeply understood what it was we were looking at. In addition, these trips  had a very prominent impact.

The landfill for example, I had never tied together what happened to my trash beyond my kitchen. I was blinded in this mindset that it just was gone, but never did I realize that it was being sent by truck to be dumped in a hole in the ground. The first step to fixing a problem is acknowledgement, and acknowledgement partially comes from enlightenment. We, as a Middle School class, were able to possess enlightenment through science class. The day we took the trip to the landfill filled me and many others with an eerie and disgusted ache. Since then we have become large advocates for recycling, righting our wrongs, and being more environmentally conscious. Going to the landfill made everything in the textbook real; it wasn’t just a page in a Science Book, but rather an unfortunate reality.

West Side has a wonderful opportunity to be able to immerse it’s students in real-life situations associated with their studies. By taking class trips to locations pertaining to what is being currently studied, it helps draw vital connections and develop opinions on today’s leading issues. Leaping beyond the textbook makes the issues a reality, and provides enlightenment in the most confusing of places.

Thanks for the great opportunities of enlightenment.

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