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First Graders Travel East and West to Discover the World (October 26, 2006)

First grade students at Bright Elementary put their lessons in map skills, science, comparisons and government to work this month when they boarded school buses and toured Frisco – they even took a pretend trip to Australia without crossing Highway 121.

Pamela Graham, lead first grade teacher, explained that students have been studying map skills and learning about the globe. They have studied Australia and the oceans, in particular. Outback Steakhouse has been a business partner with Bright for several years and in celebration of the first grade learning about the world, communities and other cultures, the restaurant invited the entire grade to come to lunch and have “class” at the Outback. The staff helped children study the Australian flag, learn about Australian animals, and look at Australian tools and musical instruments.

In addition to studying maps and the globe, the first grade has been learning about soil and how important the earth is to human existence. They have studied where food comes from and how it grows. As the students entered the Outback Steakhouse they were each given potatoes freshly dug from the earth to examine. Later, they went into the kitchens to see where the potatoes were cleaned and cooked.

While studying other cultures, the students have also been learning about how communities work together to exist. Their field trip also included a visit to the new Frisco City Council chambers and the new library, Graham said. “The children took turns sitting in the council seats and they also voted on some major issues they thought needed to be addressed. They voted to have Sea World come to Frisco and they also voted that anyone visiting Frisco would be allowed to check out library books.”

Within one school day, the Ida Lee Bright Elementary first grade traveled from one side of town to the other and learned first hand lessons about community resources, businesses and leadership around the world.