Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 6:15:22 AM

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Revolutionary War Comes to Life at Local Middle School

7th grade social studies teacher, Jeff Spierling, traded his classroom for an imaginary battlefield Friday at Vestal Middle School.  Spierling took students back to the colonial times of the Revolutionary War.

"It gets them out of the class, it gets them in a situation where there's a lot of inquiry," said Spierling.

"You get to interact with the specific item," said 7th grader Colton Luker.

The presentation included everything from actual artifacts to replicas, like this water canister, to help bring the students into the time period of the Revolutionary War.

"In a book you can't actually really see the different things. And even if it describes it you can't really picture it 100% correctly," 7th grader Kelly Hao.

The artifacts and replicas come from Spierling's personal collection and from two grants he received from the Vestal Schools Foundation. These funds allow him buy to the artifacts that help create a real colonial experience. 

"That way we can help bring history to life for the kids," said Spierling.

There were some interactive learning techniques in today's recreation..

"I picked another student to come up and do a mock simulation of an amputation...And then we did the mock leeching of a student," said Spierling.

Students say learning outside of the classroom helps show them things that aren't in the textbook, and supplements subjects that are.

"Not all paperwork and writing. You're up and active and not just sitting there staring at a teacher," said Luker.

The students are finishing up their studies on causes of the Revolutionary War and will use what they learned Friday to transition into battles of the revolution.

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