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CLASS ACTS: ACADEMY PARK ELEMENTARY, WEST VALLEY

THE EVENT

Classes: All fourth grades

Number of students: 140

Subject: Utah history

Building a miniature version of Salt Lake City's historic South Temple (Brigham Street) taught Academy Park's fourth-graders more than they could ever have learned from a book alone.

THE SCHOOL

Location: 4580 Westpoint Drive

Students: 751, kindergarten through sixth grade

Number of teachers: 25

Principal: Bonnie Newman

School district: Granite

THE LESSON

The teachers' objective: To give children a close-up perspective on how Utah's pioneering business people lived in their splendid South Temple mansions.

The four fourth-grade teachers started the section by inviting a city planner and a representative of the Utah Heritage Foundation to visit their classes. The foundation provided information booklets on the fascinating architecture to be found on South Temple.

Children used these and other sources to research the architecture and aura of the turn-of-the-century buildings. Some went with family members to visit South Temple, bringing back photos and personal impressions to share.

Each child prepared a one-page report on the buildings chosen for the build-it-yourself project. They brought boxes, polystyrene, cardboard rolls, butcher paper, paint and a whole variety of this-and-thats from home to erect their replicas, said teacher Sybil Jemmett.

Their 1992 version of South Temple even included a 4-foot-high Delta Center, a building that will become part of their history and that of their posterity, said Jemmett.

"They learned a lot more than history," she said. "They learned about working together, planning a project, doing research. Some of them went to local businesses to get their building materials."

The children say:

"This is the hardest project I've ever done, but the funnest." - Jennie Taylor.

What happens next:

After displays for the rest of Academy Park's student body and parents, the school's South Temple came down to await another class of fourth-graders. - By Twila Van Leer

The Deseret News will publish weekly a feature on school activities. Call Chuck Gates, 237-2100.