Story By Griffin Hadley
Multi-colored feathers cover the body of the great beast. With a monstrous red body, the dragon looks like it could soar off the table right into the sky. With its life-like appearance these seventh grade students social studies projects are very beastly.
The students in seventh grade are learning about ancient and modern China. Recently, they got to choose how they learned: students could either learn about China with their teacher and take a test at the end of the unit, or they could research about China and make the dragon and take a special dragon test. This project was due on February 26 or 29, so the students only had about two and a half weeks to work on it.
Mr. Dan Patane, seventh grade social studies teacher, said he gave the students a rubric and a PowerPoint presentation to guide students through the dragon project process.
“There is specific information on the rubric,” Patane said, “But it was up to the students what facts to put on the dragon about the specific information.
“It is a social studies project where students get to make a Chinese dragon instead of going through regular social studies class,” William Kok, seventh grade, said. Kok chose to do the dragon project because he thought it would be fun to try something new.
The information that students needed on the dragon included facts about past Chinese leaders, dynasties, geography, and some extra fun facts were optional.
Kok also said that he researched the dragon at school, but he still had to assemble the dragon at home. The dragon was be made up of several cardboard “discs” that were packed with information. The dragon needed facts the students need will be about Chinese leaders like Liu Bang, the first peasant to become a ruler, and Qin Shi Huangdi, who was hated by his people. The dragon also needed facts about the Chinese dynasties like the Shang, the first dynasty, Ming, the dynasty that improved ships and had the legendary sailor Zheng He, and the longest lasting dynasty, the Zhou.
Tate Wheeler, also constructing a dragon, said he will be making his dragon out of cardboard, paper plates and paper mache. Wheeler also covered his dragon with colorful paper and used glitter glue and streamers to add some flare.
“The dragon project was fun,” Kok said. “It was cool to get to get to do something a little different.”
All stories, photos and video footage by the seventh and eighth grade newspaper students.