Coupled with our inquiry based curriculum is an interdisciplinary approach to many student projects; a layered and subtle teaching method that encourages academic curiosity and critical thinking. Below are several samples of the covers made by 6th grade of their chosen "bird."
As Julie DelPrado, art teacher for Grades 4-6, writes: "Each spring the 6th grade participates in an interdisciplinary project with science, ELA, and art. In science they select and research all aspects of a local bird. In ELA they write their findings in the form of a report. In art they create a collage of their bird to be used as the cover of their report. After studying and practicing collage techniques, students gathers colors and textures from magazines, painted paper scraps, and fabrics to include in their collage. They then sketch their ideas, making specific compositional choices to best showcase their bird. They are tasked with displaying the physical features of the bird including coloring, scale, and proportion; showing the bird’s natural habitat; and including elements that suggest or display one or more behavioral elements unique to their birds. Once complete their reports are on display for the entire school to view and read."
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It’s a large-scale building kit designed for small groups of students to engage in creative hands-on learning and play. This collection of wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, nuts, bolts, and rope allows children to follow their curiosity while learning how to build and create.
It was designed by Cas Holman, a professor of industrial design at RISD. She works with schools, teachers, and children's museums to study the "connections between design education, early childhood, and play." And the feedback so far is that it’s also really fun!
Our campus is full of natural beauty – including fields, trails, and a pond – and is surrounded by over 200 acres of conservation land. We consider it another classroom and integral to our program, whether for art students sketching fauna, or for young scientists studying water samples.