Virtual Field Trip to Sierra Leone
By Ms. Schibelka
9th grade World Studies teacher
This week, in Miss Schibelka’s 9th grade World Studies class, students are exploring Sierra Leone, a small country in Western Africa that is in the process of recovering from a brutal civil war that took place in the 1990s. Students went on a virtual field trip via Google Earth to study the terrain and living conditions of the country. “I liked looking at Sierra Leone and the countries around it,” said Christopher Cruz, a student in Miss Schibelka’s class. “It was cool that we got to do it on the computer, instead of just sitting and taking notes while the teacher explained it.”
Later in the unit, students will be reading two books: The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara and A Long Way Gone By Ishmael Beah. Both books are written by survivors of the Sierra Leone Civil War and provide an inside look at the atrocities and chaos that took place during the fighting. Students will be analyzing the perspectives of both of the authors as they read about their experiences, feelings, and lives after the war. In order to wrap up the unit, students in Miss Schibelka’s class will be completing research projects on similar human rights violations in other parts of the world. As International Baccalaureate learners, students will use their new learning to make connections to their own city, communities, and lives. “It is important for us to know about the bad things that happen in other countries, so we can make sure that those things never happen here,” commented Monica Rosario. Students will continue studying this topic for the next five weeks, using media such as books, webquests, videos, and collaborative group projects.