Remote learning can be difficult even for the oldest and most focused of Stevenson students—and it can be particularly challenging for the youngest Pirates, especially those who may have a hard time staying engaged while learning from their own space and not with their peers on campus. 

To make learning and paying attention easier for their students, grade 1 teachers Mr. Collett and Ms. Rauber have developed creative and fun ways to keep young Pirates engaged. 

One of the most entertaining and successfully engaging activities that helped their students remain enthusiastic about remote learning is weekly Star Wars-themed engineering lessons, which were meant to spark creativity and encourage problem-solving. During these lessons, the teachers used videos of themselves as Star Wars characters and asked for students’ help solving a particular problem related to their character and storyline. 
Mr. Collett explains, “At the start of the remote school year, we wanted to convey to the students that remote learning could still be fun and creative. We chose to use Star Wars as the ‘hook’ for lessons on engineering. More than anything, we hoped students would flex their creative muscles while being constrained to using materials from home.”
He continued, “We filmed short Star Wars stories on Seesaw, then posed a problem to the kids that we needed their help with. For example, Mrs. Rauber played a Jedi trapped on a planet who required a spaceship design to help her relocate, and I filmed a short video calling for different lightsaber designs to help fight the oncoming Imperial enemy. Students then took an hour to plan, design, and build their creations. Upon completion, students took pictures of their objects, posted them to Seesaw, and explained what they made and how.”

The videos not only played to students’ love of Star Wars characters, but also encouraged them to utilize the space and materials in their home, and to come up with creative projects they would get to share with classmates. Star Wars lessons helped to break up the monotony of regular class and homework.

The past school year has been challenging for grade 1 students, but thanks to the particularly creative lessons from their teachers, they are reminded that learning can be fun and engaging no matter where it’s happening—on campus, in this galaxy, or beyond!