Storytelling and snow sports have dominated this past week in the Grades 4/5/6 classroom. As our mythology studies have progressed, students have not only begun to analyze the content of different myths, but the way in which they have been told and passed down through history. On Monday students were able to begin plotting out and planning how they will begin to tell these ancient stories, incorporating voices, gestures, and other techniques to make it as engaging as possible. Discussion also turned to the migration of humans throughout history, as students looked at maps and reflected on readings on the subject.
We gained some perspective on the challenges of travel across different terrains as students hopped onto their cross country skis for the first time at school on Wednesday. Although the conditions are less than ideal, we have made serious tracks on the lower field! Students even braved the snow and cold this Thursday afternoon with our team development coordinator, Shelly Gibson, to work as teams traversing ‘The Walk of Life’ (a cabled low element).
The group reflected on the challenges of crossing from one side to the other, making connections to the travels of humans long ago. We can’t wait for further travel and exploration through history and the snowy Maine woods.
By Emily Bell-Hoerth (Grades 4/5/6 teacher)
This week we learned about tectonic plates and how they move. There are convergent, divergent, and transform plates. We learned about what can happen when the plates move. To learn about earthquakes (which are caused by transform tectonic plates), we did an experiment.
First, we set a cardboard box upside down and marked three sections (set equal distances apart), labeling them A, B, and C. Around the sections we drew circles, and inside each circle, we put a spoonful of popcorn kernels. Then we used a ruler to tap for 30 seconds on the side of the box and we observed where the kernels ended up at the end of the time. The kernels were meant to represent people or cities, the box was the earth, and the tapping of the ruler was the earthquake. Next, we were allowed to change one variable, and my group chose to change the size of the earthquake by using two rulers (one on each side of the box). Our experiment didn’t work so well because there was a hole in the box, so all the kernels fell in! It was a very interesting experiment and it was really fun!
By Maeve Tholen (Student- Grade 6)
We dove into world geography this week by posing the question, ‘What are you wondering about the world?’ Here is a sample of answers: How many countries are there in the world? How many different types of leadership and government are there in the world? How do others around the world view American people and society? Are there any other unexploded ordinances under the water in the world? What political boundaries are being changed? What are the highest and lowest elevations around the world? Are there any current American issues that other countries have solved? Next we navigated to the World Factbook on the CIA website and began a study of world geographical data. This is the start of an informative writing project, in which students will compare and contrast data from one South or Central American country to another. They collected data about population, education, GDP, life expectancy, and industry from the website. Students were surprised and inspired by the interesting information they discovered.
By Annie Nixon (Grade 7 teacher)
This week we did challenge time with Shelly. This was a very cool and unique experience because we got to go off the ground on a high element called the “Dangle Duo”. On the ‘Dangle Duo’ we climbed up these wooden 4×4 planks, each separated by 4-5 feet of metal cable. As we went up, the planks would get 4-6 inches farther apart, making it harder to climb up. It was like climbing a wobbly giant’s ladder to the sky. Luckily we climbed up with a partner, so we could help each other climb up as the conditions got more difficult. I can’t wait for the next challenge time!
By Seamus Bowdish (Student- Grade 7)
It has felt too long since I’ve shared about art programming at school, and we’ve had so many exciting things going on recently!
Our school-wide trip to the Center for Maine Contemporary Art was a fantastic success. The time taken at Chewonki for pre-learning about the physical space, history of the CMCA, and contemporary art concepts paid off. The students all knew what to expect and were able to answer questions from the docent right off the bat. They all shared insightful responses as the docent used Visual Thinking Strategies to engage them in analysis and interpretation of specific pieces.
After some time with the art, students moved on to the “making” portion of our CMCA visit.
Students seemed very comfortable in the Art Lab and got right to work creating collage and code inspired art. Please ask your child for more details about the work they examined. Their Art Lab creations will be on display at Chewonki in the next few months.
Grades 4/5/6 Art Class
We have entered an Art Fundamentals Unit, which includes 3-D drawing skills, color mixing/ color theory, and still life studies. The students are really observing, engaging, persisting, and developing craft as we self-assess and reflect during feedback opportunities.
Grade 7 Art Class
In Grade 7, we are winding down our amazing clay unit, in which students have developed very comprehensive hand-building skills. Student assignments included: 3 pinch pots with attachments and texture, Sgraffito/ texture tiles, slab mug with attachments, a farm tool recreation, and an indigenous inspired coil vessel. Students have also been able to experiment with various glazing techniques.
They have truly demonstrated growth with technical skills and have various viable objects to bring home and share with you all in the near future. It is so lovely to hear students report excitement and inspiration with this medium, and witness a willingness to push themselves to learn and take risks in the clay studio.
Coreysha Stone (Visual Arts Specialist)