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Mrs Atkins and her seventh grade social studies class have been studying the Middle Ages. To bring deeper knowledge and cross-curriculum skills to the unit, the students had a special "Medieval Day" last week. Students were able to choose projects that fit the theme and aligned with their personal interests and talents. Projects included apple tart, pottage (stew), a miniature castle, crossbows, cookies, pomander balls, and a working trebuchet. After they went outside to watch a demonstration of Seth and Ishaan's trebuchet, Mrs. Atkins said "we really appreciated Mac's pottage stew when we came inside." Mrs. Atkins gives hands-on project assignments to all her social studies students, and research shows that independent and team-based projects like these help increase comprehension and knowledge retention more than traditional "textbook learning" by itself. Great job, Mrs. Atkins and seventh grade!