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Teachers take America’s Cup into classroom

Two local teachers have turned the imminent America's Cup into a platform for youngsters to learn about Bermuda — and now want to share their package of lessons with the island's educators.

The result is Let's Sail Away! Bermuda's Sailing History from the Sea Venture to the America's Cup.

“We looked at the America's Cup and thought what a hands-on teachable moment we could create,” said Lindsey Sirju of the Bermuda Centre for Creative Learning, who teamed up with Tina Harris, the head of the primary department at the Bermuda High School. Added Ms Harris: “There's no way you can pass up an opportunity as educators for something this huge in Bermuda.”

The two got together and started writing about Bermuda, basing their units on the international primary curriculum, which both schools use.

“I love teaching IPC,” Ms Sirju said.

The format covers a swath of subjects at once, immersing children in the topic, and is geared towards youngsters learning about their home country.

One lesson might incorporate science and history, while another weaves together art, English and music.

“You transform not only how kids think about it, but you transform the space they work in by decorating it with the things they create.”

IPC also encourages children to go out and learn from places in the community, from the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art to the replica of the Deliverance in St George.

The lessons are flexible, easy for teachers to adjust for their classrooms and the ages of their learners, and driven towards “inquiring-based learning”, the two said.

“Within it there are research projects, with the students given opportunities to choose the subjects they would like to explore,” Ms Harris said. Lessons range from the menus for sailors to learning sea chanteys, knots and the maritime trades of early Bermuda such as whaling and piracy, and an America's Cup “boot camp” for physical education.

The illustrated book provides everything from lesson plans and the hyperlinks to further resources, and even a pre-written letter for teachers to provide to parents.

To obtain a copy, e-mail either lsirju@bermudacreativelearning.com, or primary.head@bhs.bm

Setting sail: Lindsey Sirju, left, and Tina Harris

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Published May 01, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 01, 2017 at 7:10 am)

Teachers take America’s Cup into classroom

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