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Hancock class corrects ‘Jeopardy!’?answer

February 2, 2011
By ZACH KUKKONEN Houghton Daily Mining Gazette

HANCOCK - In teaching his seventh-grade social studies class, Hancock Middle School teacher Matt Griffith is always looking for real-world applications to what his students are learning.

He recently received that chance from an unlikely source: The game show, "Jeopardy!"

The answer, "In only two cases can you add two letters to one country and get another country; Austria/Australia and this pair" yielded the question, "What is Niger and Nigeria?" The class found that the question had an error. There is actually a third pair, in Malawi and Mali, which Griffith's class pointed out.

"One of the other teachers had come in and let the students know what the question was," Griffith said. "Quite a few of them knew (the third answer)."

As a result, the class sent a letter to "Jeopardy!" noting the error, and promptly received a response letter thanking them for the additional correct answer.

The whole experience has helped Griffith teach his students that their knowledge can apply to the outside world and not just the classroom.

"It's a great teaching point," Griffith said. "Students were able to see the scenario of using it outside the classroom."

In addition to preparing students for the real world, if one of his students ever was on the show, and received the category "World Geography," they would nail it.

"My students know every country in the entire world," Griffith said. "It's just one thing that we bring up in class."



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