Excellence in Teaching Award 2003
Ms. Cheryl McGinness
is a Special Reading Teacher at Seigrist Elementary School in Platte City. Her school is uniquely located at the northern edge of Kansas City, nestled into cropland. Each day, the students travel past fields of corn, wheat and soybeans, with little understanding of these commodities and what they produce. In an effort to link these crops with real life, she introduced units such as An A MAIZ ing Plant-Corn, Getting Pumped up over Pumpkins and The Joy of Soy (beans).
Students read books and researched each topic. Games were developed to strengthen their knowledge of the crops and their usage. Students developed power point presentations for assemblies with parents and a CD was given to each child with the information. Items made from each crop were utilized in the classroom and they planned and prepared meals using the commodities.
Students strengthened their vocabulary, reading and writing skills by completing activities that promote learning about plants and agriculture. They also learned the connections of agriculture throughout history to relevance today and our dependence on agriculture. The sequence in moving crops from the field to thousands of items used daily allowed them to learn more about agriculture.