Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation
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The students of Jones Academy’s 5th grade class experience an eventful year

Contributed by JOE SIRMANS - Jones Academy

First Field Trip - Eufaula Oklahoma

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May 2, 2013 Jones Academy 5th grade got to journey North to Eufaula Oklahoma to tour the Eufaula hydroelectric power plant. The students got to go down inside the dam and see how electricity is produced. It was amazing to see and have a better understanding of how water pressure can turn a turbine that turns a shaft at 100 RPM and then turns a generator that causes electrons to move on down the line. We often turn on electrical devices from lights to TVs without thinking about from where the power comes. Now, they 5th grade students have a better understanding of where the energy comes from after such a tremendous field trip to the Eufaula Dam. We were the first class to get to tour the dam since 9/11.

After touring the dam, our Native American students got to view a wonderful arrowhead collection at the Eufaula Nature Center. The center had a variety of hands on activities that the students enjoyed. The working beehive was an attraction that had the students talking about honey. Some students enjoyed observing the mountain lion, buffalo, and other stuffed animals. Students looked threw binoculars and now better understand that these instruments can help enlarge organisms at far distances to help study their characteristics. LaRae_New_Holy_at_Nature_Center_WEB The ladies at the nature center were very knowledgeable and showed our students a variety of turtle species. The class also got to see our state reptile, the collard lizard. Some enjoyed looking at the cold-blooded organism called a copperhead snake, which our students can identify, by its copper color and markings. We all agree the copperhead is one not to step on in this part of the country.

Over all I know we had a fantastic day because I heard many questions ask and answered. Lots of smiles on our student faces make for an unforgettable day in 5th grade. It was really heart warming to hear such great comments about our student’s behavior from the ones who gave the tours and showed our students many interesting exhibits.

Second Field Trip - Elm Point Lake Eufaula

May 10, 2013, the 5th grade students got to take a fishing field trip to Elm Point, which is part of Lake Eufaula. Prior to the trip students took part in the fishing clinic held in the 5th grade classroom at Jones Academy. The materials were provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Wildlife. students_learning_to_cast_WEB Students learned about tying knots, fish identification, casting instruction, outdoor ethics, water safety, water pollution, fishing equipment, fish cleaning and fish cooking.

The students got their crappie fishing gear ready, which consisted of rods and reels, corks, hooks and minnows, then headed to the lake to catch fish. Kendra Wakolee caught the biggest crappie, which made a few boys wonder what was going on. Darius Sewell caught the second largest crappie, which put more fillets on the stringer.
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Students got to eat charcoaled hot dogs with chilly, cheese and onions for an outdoor lakeside luncheon. Some said the hot dogs were better than steaks on this day. Our students were generous to feed several elders at the lake that were fishing in the same fishing area. The students had a great time at the lake and picked up around the area to make it better than when they came.

Later that day when returning to campus, the students got to watch first hand how to clean a fish and prepare it to eat. The kitchen staff was so kind as to get the cast iron skillet hot and ready for the fish after students battered the fillets. The fishing clinic did not teach how to eat the fish but the students did not seem to have any problem with that part. Learning life skills like fishing is something that 5th grade does not take lightly.

The class also learned to make humming bird feeders out of baby food jars and painted them. They mixed one part granulated sugar with four parts sterile water to create the feed for the birds. For more information on the happenings occurring at Jones Academy visit Jones Academy’s website.

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Students display their newly created hummingbird feeders