Working in a Coal Mine - Learning About Mines
McCune 3rd and 4th Grade
The McCune 3rd and 4th Grade recently completed a unit on Coal Mining to expand their knowledge of the history of mining in our area and to expose them to mining in other areas of the United States.
The students began the week thinking how great it would be to go to work and earn money instead of having to go to school for 6 hours a day, by the end of the week going to school was looking pretty good to them. The students watched slides, videos and heard about the various jobs that a child of 8 to 12 would have done in a coal mine. The students then did research using both books and the internet to expand this knowledge and deciding which of the jobs they thought they could or would like to do. The students then were given a opportunity to go in the McCune Rural Mine #9 (The old stage) and try their luck at finding coal. The students were given a hard hat with a light on it, a bucket (a cup with a handle) and a shovel (a plastic spoon). The students then crawled the long shaft to coal cavity where they tried their luck at mining (finding small black rocks in birdseed). A few of the students were excellent miners bringing out only coal, many of the students filled their buckets, but it had a lot of dirt and not much coal. The students commented how dark it was in the mine and how cramped they were getting only after just 10 minutes of being hunched over not 8 to 10 hours. This concluded the underground mining part of the unit. A special thank you to Mrs. Lynch for building the GREAT mine!!!!!!!!
The next part of the unit was showing the students the kind of mining that we did around this area. The students had to buy land (a soft cookie or a hard cookie), a tool, (flat toothpick, a sharp toothpick, or a paper clip). The students then had to dig the coal (chocolate chips) from the land and reclaim the land before the time was up. Several of the students had to pay a penalty as they had way to much land out of their area and did not do a good job of reclaiming the land.
The unit concluded with an afternoon trip to Big Brutus. The students will also walk through the Miners Park in Pittsburg on May 4.