Walnut Springs Middle School sixth-graders make the case for an improved recess
The students in Amber Ferguson’s sixth-grade language arts classes at Walnut Springs Middle want to improve recess for middle schoolers across the district.
This week, they organized quotes, sources and key points from articles, news programs, TED Talks and other resources they’ve reviewed to build their case to district leaders about why recess matters and why educators should care about it too.
As part of a unit in the district’s CommonLit 360 literacy program, students dive into the debate about recess, reviewing a variety of media to deepen their understanding on both sides of the issue.
While the unit ends with students writing an email expressing their argument for recess, Ferguson revamped the culminating activity: persuasive letters to Superintendent Dr. Joe Clark and the district’s Middle School Design Team.
Sixth-grader Bethany Winemiller said students need a time dedicated to recess.
“Most of the time I don’t go outside at all because I take a very long time to eat my food,” she said.
Through the project, she learned about the benefits of recess and how taking a break from the structure of a classroom can help students stay focused in class, reduce disruptive behavior, and improve their social skill — all of which will be in her arguments in her letter to district leaders.
- Walnut Springs Middle School
- Westerville City Schools