St. Elizabeth School: Captivating Students Through Discovery-Based Learning

At Saint Elizabeth Parish School, we believe that children have multiple intelligences. That is, not all children learn using traditional methods, and they each have multiple strengths in various academic areas. Therefore, teachers at Saint Elizabeth try to reach all learners with motivating and engaging alternative strategies. Some of these strategies include hands-on learning within the classroom.

In the Fourth grade classroom this week, students were engaged in learning about mathematical concepts by conducting a pumpkin investigation. Students were grouped into five cooperative groups for this project. Throughout the project, students were asked to estimate then measure the circumference, the height, the weight, and the number of creases on the pumpkin. All of the pumpkins were different shapes and sizes. Students then were asked to estimate the number of seeds within the pumpkin. The following day, students scooped out the goop from their pumpkins and counted the number of seeds, grouping them into tens. They were surprised to discover that their pumpkins had about 400-600 seeds in them! Students expressed that they had a great time learning about units of measurement by observing and investigating their pumpkins. They said they also had fun with coming up with silly names for their pumpkins within their cooperative groups.

It is learning like this that makes Saint Elizabeth truly unique. Students are consistently engaged in hands-on projects and discovery based learning throughout all grade levels. The students of different grade levels will sometimes work together as well. For example, after the pumpkin seeds have dried, the fourth graders will work with the students in Transitional Kindergarten (TK) to plant the seeds in our school garden. Perhaps next year we’ll have a pumpkin that the students have grown themselves to investigate!

Come see what you are missing and experience St. Elizabeth School:
Tours and Information: November 4th, 9:00 a.m.

St. Elizabeth Parish School, 1840 N. Lake Avenue, Altadena, (626) 797-7727 or visit




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