Nov 8, 2013 9:09 PM by John Patrick

Tucson school takes the classroom to the cemetery

TUCSON - Students from Fruchtendler Elementary School took the classroom to the cemetery Friday for a history lesson the teachers hope the kids never forget.

Koby Kemp, a fifth grader at Fruchtendler Elementary School, was playing the part of James "Pop" Mckale as he and his classmates learned about some of southern Arizona's pioneers laid to rest at Evergreen Cemetery.

From James "Pop" Mckale to John "Button" Salmon the fifth graders dressed like the pioneers and memorized their history to give a presentation to their younger classmates.

Kemp says, "I'm having a great time because I get to teach little kids a thing or two about Pop McKale."

Other students like Ellie Willis realized what the lesson was all about.

"It's just good to learn about how Tucson came to be and to teach the younger people and keep them telling stories of Arizona's pioneers," says Willis.

Ellie's mom, Angie Willis, was a little skeptical about the classroom cemetery at first but saw the rich history behind the lesson.

"By 4th grade I think it's okay. None of them are bothered by it and they think it's great to come out and see all these people," explains Willis.

Linda Koehler is the fifth grade teacher behind it all and she says this style of learning is all about the kids.

Koehler says, "If you find something that the kids enjoy doing they will absolutely absorb it and it stays with them for a long time."


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