Fortville Elementary School (FES) fourth grade students utilized a number of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) applications to create a gingerbread replica of the Town of Fortville. Students were placed into small groups and assigned a business to research, prepare a report and create a gingerbread visual. All buildings were then connected to create a delicious replica of Main Street along with Mt. Vernon High School, Mt. Vernon Middle School, Fortville Elementary and Memorial Park.
To kick off their research, students took a field trip to Main Street and interacted with many local business owners such as Panda Chinese, Maduro, Foxgardin, ATA Blackbelt Academy, Seals Funeral Home and Sunrise Bakery. Students had the opportunity to ask the owners about their businesses and the Fortville community.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Larry Harnish, the owner of Maduro on Main. “It’s my third year doing this and it seems like the students have learned a lot.”
This festive research project was a fun way for the students to expand their knowledge in social studies, language arts, science, math, and art. Social studies was the main area of content covered by the project; students learned about Fortville’s development in Indiana, how to locate features on a map and the effect Fortville businesses have on the local economy.
Students also used language arts skills when they were reading, writing and researching their assigned building. They prepared a report on their assigned building with information about the structure they researched. Math was also utilized as students estimated the size and number of the materials needed to reconstruct the building.
These engaging project-based learning programs help students gain knowledge about the communities they call home. Special thanks to the Fortville business owners who met with the fourth grade FES students and visited to see their gingerbread creations.