In fifth grade, I was participating in a school-wide event. Each fifth grade class made their homeroom represent a specific country of their choosing, and the other grades got to go check them out. My homeroom picked a country but I forget what country we had. I know it was mostly grass plains and windmills.

In each room, there were multiple teams of three to five students, and each team made something together but separate from the other teams. I was in a group of four, and all of them were my friends but I only remember one because he was the tallest out of all of us. His name was M. On the first day of group work, we had to brainstorm over what we should make. Everybody in my group thought of a few things, while I thought of nothing.

I then started searching through my mind about things that were widely used in our country, whatever it was, and I told my group that we could build a working windmill. M, who I thought of as the leader of the group, was the first one to agree with my declaration, and soon the other two followed suit. During the first couple days, we made a plan on how to build the windmill, how big it would be, and how we would present it to the other students. We figured out that one of us would research about what the windmills in the country did, looked like, etc., then another one of us would take that research and either write or type the information so that we could read it aloud to the students. The other two would bring in supplies for the windmill.

Once all of that was complete, we worked together to build the windmill. We had about four days to make it. I’m going to be honest, it was kind of difficult and kind of easy at the same time. It was easy because we already had most of the supplies and we worked together so well, but it was hard because we needed more supplies than we expected we would need. It was also huge, big enough that someone could go inside and make the windmill spin with a rope.

It was made of cardboard, entirely out of cardboard, except for a cylinder-shaped pipe and rope to turn the pipe. The day after we finished was the day when the rest of the school would come to our fifth grade rooms. We came up with a plan for cycling our roles, from turning the windmill, reading the research paper, supporting the windmill so it won’t fall, and taking a break. All of this made me feel like they cared about my idea of making a windmill by going along with it and by being part of a team.

—White Mountains Regional High School

 

DOWNLOAD THE PDF