Craig third graders learn about government and history |

Craig third graders learn about government and history

Moffat County Clerk and Recorder Lila Herod, left, and Clerk Tech Amanda Tomlinson helped third grade students learn about the election process during social studies lessons in Bobbie McAlexander's class at East Elementary school.
Sasha Nelson

— Students at East Elementary School are learning about government and history by creating their own communities with the help of local elected officials.

“I believe presentations from local leaders benefits the students because they know exactly what their jobs require and can better teach the students about how their jobs and the government are ran,” said East Elementary Third Grade Teacher Bobbie McAlexander.

McAlexander brings social studies lessons to life by immersing students in the subject matter.

In November, to learn about communities and local government, students were divided into three groups. Each group chose a community name, voted for a mayor, made laws, obtained jobs with salaries and were given tickets if they broke the law, McAlexander said.

McAlexander invited Craig Mayor and Moffat County Commissioner-Elect Ray Beck, School Board Member JoBeth Tupa and County Clerk and Recorder Lila Herod to the classroom.

“The third graders were awesome. They were smart, asked good questions and they expressed a lot of care about each other. They were very kind and thoughtful. It was fun and we enjoyed it,” Herod said.

She and Clerk Tech Amanda Tomlinson brought the students a number of handouts including a sample of the 2016 ballot to show students the number of candidates and issues that were raised in this year’s election.

“Given the climate of this election, one of the most important messages, is that there is a lot of controversy and it’s OK to have a firm belief, but that it is important to listen to the other side and to be respectful,” Herod said.

This month McAlexader is teaching the history of the region and economic development.

“We are doing a mock simulation of a one room schoolhouse where they learn all about our area and how schools were in the past,” McAlexander said.

The one room schoolhouse is called Apple Valley and during the simulation students will work on slate chalkboards, boys sit on one side of the room, girls on the other.

Students are also “going on a field trip on Wednesday to the Craig museum, Hayden museum, and Steamboat museum to compare historical items and events in them,” McAlexander said.

Field trips will be followed with more classroom visitors.

“I am working on getting a couple visitors to come into talk about the history of this area,” McAlexander said. “They also interview a family member about what type if school they attended and they take home a sheet of challenge tasks they can do to earn extra points such as writing with a quill pen and creating instruments.”

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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