Curriculum Matters: October 24, 2013

“…even the turtles are happy!”
(Comment made by Ann Johnson, an observer
in our school last week.)

Our United Nations Day celebration on Thursday, October 24th was
resplendent! The Middle School gave a presentation on their recent trip to the Heifer
Project Farm, and illustrated the great disparity in global resources and
life circumstances using members of our EAC community.

We had a special visit from Ghanian musician ChaCha who spoke about his dream to
bring education and other opportunities to his homeland. ChaCha, JP and Brian played
a Ghanaian tune for us and then were gifted in return by the Upper Level chorus
who also sang a Ghanaian song.

After the assembly everyone returned to their classrooms for a sumptuous feast.

Upper Level

The days in Upper Level continue to be full and fun. There are many lessons that
have us thinking, creating, discussing and imagining.

The first years have traveled out of the earth and into the sky to explore the layers
of the atmosphere.

The second years are investigating the building blocks of civilization and asking
thoughtful questions about what makes a civilization by way of a leaf-cutter ant

The third years are researching aspects of the  Middle Ages and will use our new
Chromebooks to create presentations sharing their findings.

In Science we’ve recently made cell models and imaginary creatures, and we’re exploring
physical versus chemical changes with several fun    experiments.

Everyone is excited to begin the intense preparation and creative collaboration
that goes into making our 2013 Upper Level Halloween Carnival a treat for our younger
buddies when they visit us in the Annex on the 31st!

Middle School

October 9th through the 11th the Middle School ventured to Heifer International’s
Overlook Farm in Acton, Massachusetts.

The trip allowed students a wide variety of engaging opportunities to consider the
lives of people from around the world, especially those from countries in which
Heifer conducts its sustainable development work.

We looked forward to this trip as a way of adding valuable dimensions to our studies
related to the United Nations and other organizations that pursue peaceful and sustainable
approaches to international aid and development, and that address world hunger.

During one year of our two-year Middle School cycle we go to New York City and visit
the United Nations.  In alternate years, a trip to Overlook Farm is a meaningful

One of the highlights of the trip is time spent in the farm’s   Global Village.
Featured there are houses and gardens, pastures and pens housing farm animals typical
of communities served by Heifer in such countries as Tibet, Peru, Guatemala, Kenya,
Ghana, Poland and Appalachia and Colonias (along the Mexican border) in the United

The Global Village was our home for nearly 24 hours of our stay as our class was
divided into three “families” to stay overnight in one of the replica homes.  Each
family made due with a day’s worth of peasant food and life as the majority of the
planet’s people experience on a daily basis.

The experience was profound for all of our students and the three teachers who accompanied
them.  In preparation for our school’s celebration of United Nations Day this past
Thursday, students created a presentation of their experiences at Overlook Farm
to share with the rest of the school at our UN Day assembly.