Nontraditional Approach Enhances Students' Studies of Ancient Civilization

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Byline: Dwayne T. Wong Daily Herald Staff Writer

A Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 school has taken a non-traditional approach to help students learn about an ancient civilization.

Holmes Middle School at 221 S. Wolf Road in Wheeling Monday will turn its gymnasium into a Mayan museum with student-made artifacts, artwork and exhibits exploring the history of the former civilization.

Sherry Alimi, a bilingual teacher at Holmes, said 75 sixth-grade students concluded their nearly two-month study of the Mayans by making items for the museum.

She said this is the first time the school has used the museum approach to help students learn about an ancient civilization.

As a part of assembling exhibits for the museum, Alimi said, teachers gave students free reign on what they wanted to create.

"How they decided to display their artifacts was open and left up to them," she said.

The displays will include a pyramid made of boxes, clothes students designed, clay artwork, drawings and photos scanned from books and off the Internet. …