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Earl Elementary sixth graders revive ancient history
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Students in Hailey Noordewiers sixth grade class representing the Egyptian and Greek ancient civilizations wait for their turn to perform in front of the class as part of the Walk through the Ancient World program.

The mascot of Earl Elementary School is the “Explorer” and this week sixth grade students exemplified this by “traveling” through time to discover the past civilizations of Greece, Rome and Egypt in an interactive program titled Walking through the Ancient World.

Walking through the Ancient World is a program through the California Weekly Explorer that draws on a multitude of subjects to educate and engage fourth, fifth and sixth grade students with standard based social studies curriculum. California Weekly Explorer offers programs to thousands of students across the state. The program allows students to escape into history for two and a half hours by posing as a historical character, which requires each student to dress in costume, memorize a script, perform before their class and essentially learn instrumental history lessons in an interactive and dynamic environment.

“The beauty about this is that the kids get to see the fruits of their efforts after months of preparation. History really comes to life for them,” said Principal Tami Truax.

On Thursday Hailey Noordewier’s sixth grade class was just one of many at Earl Elementary to participate in the interactive activity that allowed students to wrap each other up like mummies and perform historical skits while simultaneously absorbing information on cultural practices and beliefs.

“It is a nice experience for them to get to learn about different significant historical characters and events and this activity really puts them in that time frame. It truly makes it interesting for them,” said Noordewier.

 While the Walk through the Ancient World program used to be a Parent Teacher Association supported program, the costs are now absorbed by site funds and the school’s willingness to continue the program is a testament to its effectiveness. Not only do students enjoy the break from a traditional learning environment, but they are able to practice several academic and social skills by getting out from behind their desks and participating.

“They are reading, they are writing, they are speaking, listening and using social studies curriculum. We’ve kept the program going because it really is a valuable experience for the students,” said Truax.