Walking Through History

Learning about history in elementary school could be really boring, but not in 4th or 5th grade at CVC! Both classes participate in an interactive, exciting program called “Walk Through.” The fourth grades Walk Through California, and the fifth grades Walk through the Revolution. The students dress up in period costumes, memorize lines, go thru a 2 ½ hour presentation and get points as a team to win a competition.

The Walk Through program has been described as an unforgettable “in-school fieldtrip.” Sometimes it is not possible to travel to historical sights, so the company that presents the Walk Through programs, California Weekly Explorer, brings history to the class. Fifth grader, Lily Bakker, says , “It is one of the most fun days of the year. It’s fun to dress up, and history isn’t so boring learning it like this.”

A trained and engaging presenter guides the class through early California history or the Revolutionary War, using games, music, dramatic activities, and stories. Students memorize character and expert cards and are asked to present their information to the class. The class is split into groups, and a friendly competition takes place. Students earn points by demonstrating their knowledge, interacting within the program and showing enthusiasm.   The winning team receives a special certificate at the end of the presentation.

CVC teachers believe that the Walk Through experiences are worth every penny for their students. Fourth grade teacher, Melanie Flietstra says, “I love how the program utilizes active participation, games, and role-playing to review the history and geography of California.  I do my best to make history come alive, but the presenters out-do me every time!  They teach, act, use comedy, and hold the students’ attention for two and a half hours, and the students love every minute!”

“The students are involved, and intrigued the entire time. I especially think it is great because the students laugh and have fun, and when they are engaged in the learning process, they comprehend so much more. Some students learn well just by reading the information, but some students need to see, feel, and be a part of the information. All types of learners are reached using this program. “ Says fourth grade teacher, Rebekah Lyzenga.

The Walk Through also supports CVC’s mission of providing academic excellence. “Walk Through California fits into CVC’s mission statement in that it truly cultivates academic excellence in students.  Each student must become ‘experts’ at a certain word or theme.  They must memorize the definition of the word, and investigate a certain question related to the word.  Students then present it to the audience with confidence, using complete sentences. “ states Miss Flietstra.

It never hurts to have a little bit of fun while learning, and the Walk Through programs at CVC each year do just that!

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