Educators win site licenses and other prizes by creating their own interdisciplinary lessons using Kids Discover Online content for free during contest
(NEW YORK, NY) November 14, 2016 – Kids Discover, a leading provider of dynamic, engaging online science and social studies curriculum, is excited to announce the winners of its Cross-Curricular Lesson-Building Contest. The contest, identified by the hashtag #XCurricular, was aimed at rewarding educators who create and share engaging lessons for their classrooms.
To be eligible for the contest, educators were required to merge two or more disciplines in a meaningful way, be appropriate for grades 3–8, and include at least one Kids Discover resource. A panel of three educational thought leaders judged contestants on the clarity, creativity, practicality, and originality of each section in their lesson plan outline.
“Our goal with the Cross-Curricular Lesson-Building Contest was to embolden teachers to bring interdisciplinary teaching into their classrooms,” said Ted Levine, the president and CEO of Kids Discover. “Cross-curricular learning empowers students to take their learning into their own hands and make their own connections between subjects. When students are inspired to pursue their innate curiosity, they turn into lifelong learners.”
The winner of the contest was Mary Lynn Espinosa from River’s Edge Montessori in Ohio. Her lesson asked students to examine how the Wright Brothers used their own bodies as a human interface to replicate the twisting motion of a bird’s body in flight in the operation of their gliders.
“Integrating problem-based learning into my lesson-planning requires cross-curricular lessons,” said Espinosa. “These lessons immerse students in the content. This leads to an increased level of engagement.” Espinosa was awarded a Site License to Kids Discover Online for her entire school.
Second place went to Amy Cramer of South Park Elementary School in Pennsylvania. Cramer’s lesson, involving students using engineering skills to build a monument for a person they admire, won her three educator subscriptions to Kids Discover Online, plus the Kids Discover print collection.
“Cross-curricular lessons create a flexible framework for learning that enables students to focus on the big ideas and essential questions and to consequently use multiple skill sets to solve problems instead of being boxed in by preconceived notions that one content area will provide the best solutions,” Cramer said.
Third place winner Kelly Grant Horrocks from DeWitt Middle School in New York was awarded a $300 credit towards Kids Discover print and digital products. Horrocks’s lesson plan explored how government, economy, and social structures developed differently across cultures according to their environment. Horrocks not only implements cross-curricular lessons in her classroom, but also collaborates with other teachers.
“I work with an ELA, science, and math teacher who all see the benefit of having a theme running through all our classes that is transparent to the students,” she said. “We decide on similar languages and approaches and focus on the same theme in these integrated units. It is by far the best and most effective teaching method I know.”
All three winning lessons are now available for other teachers on the Kids Discover website.
About Kids Discover
For more than 25 years, Kids Discover has been creating beautifully crafted nonfiction products for kids. With a specialty in science and social studies, the team of talented writers, award-winning designers and illustrators, and subject experts from leading institutions is committed to a single mission: to get children excited about reading and learning. For information, please visit KidsDiscover.com.
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