Ancient History Meets Innovative Teaching

Ancient History Meets Innovative Teaching
Posted on 01/13/2022
At Enka Intermediate School (EIS), Ms. Darcy Grimes looks for ways to give her lessons that extra something.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

At Enka Intermediate School (EIS), Ms. Darcy Grimes looks for ways to give her lessons that extra something.

Ms. Grimes was the 2012-13 North Carolina Teacher of the Year. She’s a National Board Certified Teacher and a National Geographic Certified Educator. The sixth grade English language arts and social studies teacher finds ways to identify what students love and connect that to whatever they’re learning in her class. Students have the freedom to lead their own learning and grow at their own pace.

On Wednesday, her class spread out in the spacious EIS Media Center to design information sheets about different legacies of ancient Greece. Small groups covered topics ranging from classical Greek sports to mathematics to theater, science, and philosophy. And Ms. Grimes added something unexpected to the mix – circuit boards. The students used Makey Makey circuits to connect their information sheets to their computers and trigger recordings that they made about specific aspects of their chosen topics. They attached conductive foil to different areas of their information sheets, attached alligator clips to each piece of foil, connected them all to the Makey Makey circuit boards, then connected those boards to their computers via USB.

As they rotated through the media center, students touched the foil on the sheets and heard their classmates describing Ancient Greece through computer speakers.

“This is one of the funnest projects I’ve done, because I’m really into circuits,” said Eli, one of Ms. Grimes’ students. “I never thought we would use circuits for something like this. It was really fun, and Ms. Grimes does surprising things like that all the time. I’m excited to go into her class.”

Fellow student Jesús also loved getting a chance to build something for a social studies project.

“We get to code to make this sheet of paper talk,” he said. “It’s fun, and I didn’t think I’d be doing this in a social studies class.”