Roman helps students in Georgia understand mental health

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VALDOSTA, Georgia (AP) – “The Science of Breakable Things,” written by Tae Keller, is a book about the unforgettable journey of a child discovering the science of hope, love and wonder while helping their mother with depression suffers, so the summary of the novel.

With such an honorable and hopeful premise in its heart, Hahira Middle School chose the book as the novel for students to read this year.

It was perfect because it relates to what HMS teachers, faculties, and staff wanted to focus on in relation to their students and the pandemic: mental health, school officials said.

Leslie Crawford, a teaching coach, said this year will be as much about student social and emotional growth as it will be about academic growth.

“We chose this book because it has a lot of scientific topics that are very appealing, but it also has a really big theme in relying on others in difficult times,” said Crawford.

As you can read in the summary, Natalie, the main character, is approached by her science teacher to take part in an egg drop competition with a price of 500 US dollars – a solution to her problems.

Natalie hopes with the money to let her mother, a botanist, fly to the cobalt blue orchids to inspire her to fall in love with life again – to be herself again.

The activities usually come from the annual novel. Because this year’s book is a mix of literature and science, students and teachers had a unique experience in the activities they created.

The big ticket event for all grades – sixth, seventh and eighth – was an egg drop. On Friday, August 13th, the sixth and seventh graders were able to test their egg protection devices.

The students’ projects ranged from cardboard boxes lined with bubble wrap connected with parachutes to containers padded with cotton balls.

The eighth graders still hadn’t done their Egg Drop last Friday, but they were expected to have their projects completed before the end of the day. They went a different way to create the protective devices of their eggs.

Eighth grader Anna Elliot looked back at the process, remembering the brainstorming they had to do and the sketches that had to be drawn before the apparatus could be built.

Elliot said she and her team put their egg in a cup that is surrounded by cotton balls. The bottom of the mug has balloons for cushioning with a parachute attached to the top for a grocery bag.

Eighth grader DJ Jones said he and his team’s protective apparatus have a thatched base and walls to surround their egg as it is surrounded by bubble wrap. Balloons are attached to the side as airbags so that the egg does not hit too hard.

While it was a joy to attend, the students said, there is also a lesson on mental health. Jones said he didn’t think of it at first but now see the application.

He said he knew a man who had schizophrenia and that his family had to take care of him and look after him. If they don’t, he could have a breakdown.

“You have to give him his prescription and make sure you watch him at all times, (and) just like the egg, we have to make sure it is protected with whatever materials we have so the egg doesn’t break,” Jones said.

Crawford said that if needed, people can also think about the activity to teach trust in others.

“In a sixth grade grade, one group didn’t have enough materials, so they relied on another group to build their equipment,” she said.


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