Teams of sixth graders recently competed against each other for points by learning about Greek city states and completing as many tasks as possible. They painted shields bearing the emblems of Athens, Sparta, Corinth, and Argos, engraved clay coins, decorated sashes that they wore each day, and wrote (and loudly performed) chants that permeated the walls of Hurd House. They became experts on their topic, writing a set of running notes to present to their class.
Middle school is the most important time in a child’s life for emotional and academic development—a pivotal few years when children gain a sense of identity and independence, develop their voices in the community of the classroom, and become ethical citizens who think deeply about diverse subjects.
The beautiful and highly adaptive adolescent brain is a marvel to behold. Technological advances have provided a clearer window into the workings of a brain that was once dismissed as a stage of development to simply “get through.” Current science debunks this perception and shows us that adolescence is perhaps the most crucial period in human cognitive and emotional development.
Learn more in an interesting article from Edutopia, “Decoding the Teenage Brain (in 3 Charts).”
Over the past month, students in sixth-grade history have been learning to think, dig, and document like archaeologists by conducting an indoor archaeological dig in the new Lower School’s Innovation Lab. In groups of three or four, students practice their excavation and documentation skills by gradually uncovering and recording artifacts hidden within their team’s bin.
We are excited to be piloting new, complementary curricula in eighth grade English and history this year. We spent much of the summer working together to create courses that work in concert to explore themes of citizenship, civic engagement, and civil rights.
The central theme of the eighth-grade humanities experience is citizenship. Students will explore many different iterations of civic courage and community, from the local to the global, and investigate concepts including justice, activism, and intersectionality. Continue reading “Waynflete pilots complementary English/History middle school curriculum”