Students make food trucks based on books

Sixth graders Aaron Paulus, Justin Miller and Makai Baugh served sandwiches from their “food truck” in Corbytown. Laura Fowler Paulus / Free PressOn Tuesday, Hillsboro Middle School sixth graders presented their food trucks. The food trucks were part of an experiential learning project. The food truck idea began with Janet Whisenhunt in the Wiebe Media Center.

Students in the 6th grade were encouraged to read books from the William Allen White list in the library. Each of the books’ settings take place in many areas around the world such as Syria, Cuba, Afghanistan, South Sudan, USA, India, Germany, Japan, and Mexico. Whisenhunt had the wild idea to incorporate their book reading and build a food truck based upon the book.

Students were grouped up to represent each book. Dustin Dalke joined the process and had his students contribute their talent and work to the project. Within the art room they were to engineer and construct a small scale truck from cardboard.

“The trucks were about 7 foot wide by 6 foot tall. Students were tasked to come up with an appropriate menu based upon the culture of the book. They designed their trucks and used acrylic paint to represent the book and diverse culture represented. The students came in after school and worked in every empty moment during the day that they could, pressing on to completion,” said Dalke. “12 sixth grade trucks were completed as well as 4 trucks built by high school students enrolled in a foreign language class.”

The trucks were then set up in the library in a fictional town called Corbytown in tribute to HMHS principal Clint Corby. Once completed, the sixth graders held a ribbon cutting ceremony with Mr. Corby to open the food truck extravaganza. The food trucks were evaluated on design by HMHS students and staff.

The trucks also served food and drinks representing their book on Thursday morning in the library. There was food ranging from sushi to quesadillas.

“I believe that problem solving was the biggest lesson learned by the students, as well as myself. From the beginning stages of brainstorming to construction and designing, problems arose that forced us all to rethink and retool,” said Dalke.

Corby was a good sport in spite of the large amount of attention he got, including a very large picture of his head and face that was displayed in the library.

“Our students were very engaged on the Food Truck project. It started with an idea and exploded into a full-blown project. I was very proud of our students and teachers involved. It brought great energy to HMHS,” said Corby.

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