Franklin Elementary School Students Explore “Why West Allis!”

Franklin Elementary School Students Explore “Why West Allis!”
Posted on 10/11/2019
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In September, students from Team Pursuit (K5/1st grade) and Team Resiliency (5th grade) paired up to launch a deeper learning project designed to help them learn more about the City of West Allis.

Inspired by the city’s "That's Why West Allis" campaign, Ms. O'Connor, Mrs. Schaefer, and Ms. Hayes asked their students how they would go about convincing families to come to West Allis. The goal was for students to create materials that could be distributed to the public.

According to Mrs. Schaefer, the project started with a unique tour of the city. “Our students traveled by trolley to see State Fair, Miller Park, West Allis Farmers Market, Skate Park, Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli, and more! They took notes and photos on their iPads while on their amazing tour.”

When students returned from their trolley ride, they began researching the City of West Allis and preparing questions for a panel of experts that came to visit the school. “Our students are learning about opinion writing,” explains Ms. O'Connor. “They needed to explore what they know and what they wanted to know about the city.”

Once students assembled questions, they presented them to the expert panel. “We had the mayor, aldermen, a rep from the West Allis Historical Society, board members and District staff in attendance. Our students were able to communicate and collaborate with people that really make a difference in our community,” said Schaefer.

Now students are busy turning ideas and information into posters, books, buttons, brochures, and video commercials. “Our students have a choice in how they present their work,” said O’Connor. “Being able to develop your own interests and talents is an important part of the process.”

On Thursday, November 7, 2019 from noon to 3:00 p.m., students will be at the West Allis Farmers Market to present their materials to the public. “We think it’s helpful when students interact with our community. The work is more meaningful when students engage with others. There’s authentic feedback and an opportunity to experience how a campaign like “That’s Why West Allis” really works,” said Hayes. 

This project was made possible by teachers: Kory Schaefer (K5/1st grade), Beth O’Connor (K5/1st grade), Amanda Hayes (5th grade), Jessica Kosinski (Innovation Coach), and Jessica Ruiz (Special Education).