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CES Class projects Coincide with OSOB program

Posted Date: 02/16/2018

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The bottom line is it takes a lot of gallon milk jugs to build an igloo and even more storage area to collect enough milk jugs for each kindergarten class at Chanute Elementary to build their own.

Building an igloo and constructing mini dog sleds are two of the many projects taking place this month as part of the One School One Book reading program. Everyone at CES is reading “Adventures of a South Pole Pig” by Chris Kurtz. In the book, a pig named Flora travels on board a ship to Antarctica with a team of explorers, their sleds and dogs.

The book proved to be more than an adventure story. It opened up opportunities for the students to learn about Antarctica, its climate, location, and wildlife and how people survive and get around on all that snow and ice.

For their research project, the kindergartners learned about the Orca Whale, and created their own books with the facts they gathered about the whale and its habitat. Then, they helped their teacher stack milk jugs in a circular pattern to build an igloo large enough for them to crawl inside.

The third graders studied sled dog breeds, the qualities of being sled dog, the jobs they do, how they train and the important parts of a sled dog team.

Sara Saddler challenged her third graders to create their own “dog sled” using a specific list of materials and a limited time frame to complete. The sled also needed the ability to carry something light.

Working with a partner, the students were given:

10 Popsicle sticks

20 toothpicks

length of string


“You use what you want out of these materials while thinking about, ‘What makes a good dog sled? What have you learned about dog sleds? What do they carry?” she told them.

The first step is drawing a building plan. Then begin building.

“When you start and you come up with a better idea, what do you do?” Saddler asked the students.

“Redo the plan,” they replied.

The students quickly developed patterns for their sled base, and then began experimenting with ways to carry their “load” and attach string to their dog sleds.

“Remember Flora (the South Pole pig) should be able to pull your sled and carry things on your sled,” Saddler reminded her students.

Nicholas Reynolds, who was teamed up with Johnny Clines, explained their design. “Back here is to carry the stuff. Up here is where the person pulls it from the string.”

Two girls cut some sticks to make a handle to tie their string onto, but struggled with gluing it upright.

Karter Naff and Justin Steinert glued toothpicks together before adding their string to pull the sled. They also created two places for their driver to stand, so he could move from one end of the sled to the other, depending on which direction he wants to travel.


Story by: Connie Woodard