Greece is the word

April 27, 2023

Greece is the word

Tiger Pride is a presentation of Shelby Public Schools in partnership with Oceana County Press. 

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor. 

SHELBY — When you walk down the hall at Shelby Middle School, you feel like you are in a history museum as you gaze at the many student-created Greek history projects on display.

Seventh graders in Brenda Schucardt’s world history class get a hands-on lesson.

“We do different units throughout the year and we talk about different ancient civilizations,” said Schucardt. “One of the civilizations we talk about is ancient Greece.”

“It’s All Greek to Me,” which begins in March, is student-led, so the kids do their own research.

“A lot of kids who might not test well, they love this because it’s hands-on and they get to be creative.

“My room looks like a bomb went off — there’s paint, paper mache, rolls of paper and recycled cardboard. It’s a very messy time in my room, but they do have a lot of fun. It looked like a recycling dump for a while, but that’s OK.” 

Many of the Greek “artifacts” are made from recycled material, most of which came from the school district’s food service department.

Math is incorporated in making the Greek flags to measure the blue stripes. 

“A lot of them made the Greek sailing boats.” Class discussion focused on how Greece is a peninsula with a rocky terrain and fishing was a major food acquisition activity during ancient times. The fishing nets on the boats are made from mesh onion bags. 

Spartan helmets are made from recycled plastic mayonnaise jars and tin foil. 

“They had a lot of fun learning about Greece in a different way than just dates. This way, they understand the culture and the artwork.”

The unique curriculum also teaches teamwork, because the students work in groups to compete like in the Olympics. The top three teams at the end of the unit received a treat and a medal. Each student creates several different projects to earn points.

This is the fifth year Schucardt has done the unit, and she said it continues to grow. Last summer, she and her family traveled to Greece. “At night, we could see the sunset behind the Parthenon. It was so incredible. I like Greece, because it’s very colorful.”

Students get to take their projects home with them Friday, April 28. 

“It’s a great way for them to express themselves other than just a test score.”

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