Catalog of Lessons by Category > Multi-Modal Projects & Interdisciplinary Learning > Humanities/Interdisciplinary

Catalog of Lessons by Category > Multi-Modal Projects & Interdisciplinary Learning > Humanities/Interdisciplinary 2017-10-03T02:38:14+00:00
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Sixth grade ancient civilization class, partners with English, science and math to explore the ancient civilization of Egypt. The girls learn about different elements of the culture across the curriculum. By performing various tasks in each class, the girls earn money to purchase bricks they make in science, and construct a pyramid in a diorama. Each class (3) designs and creates the display. Jobs are described and voted on in history class. Each girl has a task to perform, from builder, purchaser, landscaper, muralist, banker, etc. Girls collaborate to choose jobs best matched to their skill set. Together, they map out what must be done, who and when it will be completed. History class is responsible for the bulk of the historical research, including the deity and pharaoh the pyramid will be dedicated to and the decoration of the diorama that reflects further research of the time period. English class has the girls write first person narratives of Egyptian life. Math class figures out the number of bricks and the financing the project (the price of the bricks changes based on supply and demand, as well as the weather.) Science incorporates more on building skills, erection of an obelisk, and embalming and mummification that will be stored in the pyramid. Collaboration, communication and creativity are highlighted. Girls are encouraged to voice their opinions and listen to each other to create a physical display that represents all the information they acquire throughout the unit. Upon completion, the girls will be able to view each other’s work and evaluate their own involvement and success, along with that of their group.
In the 2010-2011 school year, the Lower School students (4th-6th grade) [our school] adopted a theme of "Water" for their service-learning program. Through religion class and Lower School chapel, students learned about water poverty and water scarcity, focusing particularly on the fact that girls around the world are particularly and negatively impacted by the lack of access to clean water (e.g., because they are tasked with the burden of fetching water, they are less likely to attend school). In each grade and academic discipline, faculty embraced the water theme, focusing parts of their curriculum on the importance of water from the perspective of their academic discipline (e.g., in a unit on ancient Egypt, students learned about the importance of the Nile River in the development of that civilization; in science, students learned about the water cycle and stewardship of this natural resource; in religion class, students addressed the problem of "water poverty" from a social justice perspective; in English classes, students wrote poems and fables about water).
In sixth grade, for all my classes, the teachers set up a day to learn about hunger around the world. All the teachers, math, science, history, fitness, and English teachers made this day happen. In each class for the day, we did an activity that had to do with ending world hunger. For example, in English class, the activity we did was writing poems about hunger and creating a collage of pictures from magazines that had to do with hunger. For history class, we learned about the different types of hunger and then made skits of what could happen if you had that type of hunger. For science and math class, we looked at the different percentages around the world of hunger. For fitness class, we did a really fascinating activity. We partnered up and were assigned to be a country from around the world (the game was sort of like red light, green light). We had to see how much food the countries had in order to move forward-- you couldn't move forward if your country didn’t have enough food. In the end we looked at all the countries and looked at the countries with the least and most food. All of these activities made me aware of the world around us and how much of an impact it was on me. It made me realize that hunger is a very serious problem and it does cause death. After that day, we made bowls out of clay and then had a 6th grade fundraiser to see how much money we could make to donate it to the charity, Heifer International.
A time in which I felt very engaged, interested, and motivated at [my school] was in the seventh grade. At the very end of the year there was a unit in which everybody in the grade completed. The project was a Decades Project. In this project a group of students from every class got a decade starting at the 1900s going through the 2000s. The decade I was given was the 1970. At the beginning I was very interested in learning more because my parents grew up in this time period. The assignment given was to research about this decade and to recreate an entire room as the decade. My group cooperated very well because we were all engaged and assigned each other specific parts. Extensive research was done and by the end after weeks it was time to decorate the room. The theme we choose was a girl’s bedroom and the living room on the other side separated by two tables stacked on top of each other. We tried to find vintage things to decorate our room with. I remember buying candy that was made in the 70s and posters of the teen heartthrobs. I also found clothes that were worn in the 70s. At the very end of our presentation my group and I created a dance to the all famous song “Dancing Queen.” At the end after all of the hard work we got to show our room off. One night the parents were invited to remember or learn what life and culture was like. This project was really engaging and it was a fun way to learn about the past. It was interesting to see how every group interpreted the assignment and got creative with it. This is one of the most memorable instances from middle School. Though this project was stressful in the beginning, because of the load of research that had to be done and the whole-day process of decorating the room, it was definitely worth the worries. This project was not teacher-guided, but rather completed by the students. Through the time and process that went with the project I also got to know more about the people in my group. I loved the Decades Project.
I have been collaborating on a project about Ancient Greece for the past ten years or so. The project has grown and changed with experience, research-based information on how girls learn, and new educational technologies. The project lasts an entire quarter. In Art, the girls create Greek masks to wear in the theater component where they act out three Greek plays (shortened): The Trojan Horse, Pandora’s Box, and The Golden Fleece for parents and grandparents. In Literature Class, the students read Greek myths and create a modern myth in Computer Class using MediaBlender. After studying Ancient Greece in Social Studies, the classes come to the Library to research individual Ancient Greek philosophers, playwrights, historians, politicians, scientists, and mathematicians. So that important points of each Ancient Greek topic are covered in the research, individual graphic organizers have been created specifically for each student’s topic focusing on how the Ancient Greeks are still a big part of our “real world” today. Each girl then reprocesses the information gleaned from her research and creates a R.A.F.T. on VoiceThread to share with her classmates.
The project supports differentiated learning styles. Individual creativity blossoms in Art and Technology with the girls designing masks, creating modern myths, and the R.A.F.Ts. on VoiceThread. Kinesthetic learners are nurtured with the energy expended creating the stage plays including collaboration and cooperation so essential to girls’ learning. Readers love the Ancient Greek myths with many girls continuing the Greek theme with recreational reading. Through the graphic organizers during Library research, girls learn time management and how to select pertinent facts from a wide range of sources, synthesizing, repackaging, and creating just the right information for their topics.