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Nisswa third-graders trek to city hall, learn about government

Third-grader Tyson Turner acts as mayor of a fictional town and addresses his “constituents” Wednesday, Oct. 18, during an activity at Nisswa City Hall. Theresa Bourke / Echo Journal 1 / 3
Wyatt Huser, third-grader at Nisswa Elementary School, listens to his classmates as they speak during an activity Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Nisswa City Hall, when they learned about local government. Theresa Bourke / Echo Journal 2 / 3
Dane Peterson (left), Wyatt Ward, Randyn Miller and Michael Hagelie get ready to address their classmates, who are acting as mayors, during an activity Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Nisswa City Hall, when students learned about local government. Theresa Bourke / Echo Journal 3 / 3

Third-graders at Nisswa Elementary School took over city hall Wednesday, Oct. 18, to learn about local government for their community unit in social studies.

The classes made up fictional towns and elected mayors, who listened to their "constituents" speak about whether a mall should be built in one of their towns at the site of a current apple orchard.

Students created personas for themselves and argued why the apple orchard should stay. Some of the most common reasons were that many employees would lose jobs, a mall would hurt other businesses and apple production would decrease.

The six mayors ultimately decided to table the mall issue.

Third-grade teacher Sarah Baker said the activity went well, and added that students also created a town newspaper, brochure and banner detailing special activities at the town's apple orchard.

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