An honors eighth grade literature class is learning real life problem solving by having kids solve historic cold cases.
At Fulton Junior High School, the honors eighth grade literature class have spent over a week working like FBI research teams on four historical cold cases. The cases include The Lost Colony of Roanoke; The Chicago Fire; Glenn Miller’s death during WWII; and the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. They based their project on the television program “History Detectives”.
“I’m always on the lookout for something exciting, something that will satisfy the curiosity of these honor students and also fits into our curriculum and satisfied Common Core requirements,” said eighth grade language arts teacher Lori Davis. “And this particular project gave them a chance for collaboration, which is a good thing for them, and it also met about 20 Common Core standards. It was teaching … solving a real world problem, which the kids really liked. Many of them commented that ‘we got to play detective.’ And the whole idea that people that had worked on these cases in the past had never really come up with a really reliable, this is the answer … so the kids felt like they were really doing something they could do in their careers.”
“It was a win-win. I think that they learned some skills that they can use in real-life situations. One of the big things in this project was they know the difference between a primary resource and a secondary resource. Many of them even said ‘This is something I may be asked to do when I’m working to find out an answer to this problem.’ I was just giddy how excited they were when they were presenting.
“I have some potential lawyers in this class, maybe even some politicians.”