Active learning is apparent every day, in every area of middle school life. This is just a sampling of what you might see in any given year:
The Cell Project
Seventh-grade science students cap their study of the structure and function of over twenty organelles with the construction of a eukaryotic cell model. These models are not only a demonstration of the student’s understanding of the course material but an opportunity to have some creative fun in the construction of the model. Students have used everything from pizza to fruit to candy to cupcakes to calzones to represent the basic unit of living things.
Eighth-grade students take a global perspective in social studies, with the curriculum designed to help them make informed and reasoned decisions for the common good as citizens of a diverse and interdependent world. Their connections to other cultures and countries is emphasized through the genealogy project, where students learn and record their own family histories, often discovering connections to people and places they never knew existed. Students create a family tree, a movement chart showing where ancestors migrated to and why, and conclude the project with a formal presentation to classmates.
Hope for the Future Recycling Project
Eighth-grade students finish their Global Studies class with a recycling project designed to emphasize that objects we might think of as trash are actually resources that can be renewed or reused into something extraordinary. Students are asked to take a found object—old skis, clothing, or building materials—and transform it into something fun, something useful, a piece of art or something that makes a statement about our disposable culture. Past projects have included a bench made from the old skis, pieces of art and many articles of clothing.