Upper School Explorations
This month, Fay’s seventh and eighth graders spent several days immersed in experiential learning activities on campus and around the state that connect to their classroom curriculum.
In Life Science, seventh graders have been studying ecosystems and water. On Monday, students traveled to Nature’s Classroom in Charlton, MA, to investigate the woods and wetlands and learn about the local ecosystem. They used natural materials to build terrariums and dams and engaged in interactive games to draw on the connections between animals in an ecosystem. On Tuesday, the seventh graders traveled to the Cape Cod National Seashore in Eastham, MA, to learn about our unique coastal ecosystem. They explored the wet marshes and learned about the creatures that live there and the animal adaptations that enable them to thrive in that environment. On a visit to Coast Guard Beach, students learned about seals and sharks and how the ecosystem is changing due to temperature change and erosion. Art and science came together on Wednesday with a visit to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln. Several art installations in the park are connected to nature themes, and students spent the morning finding examples of different art techniques in the sculptures and the afternoon drawing.
The eighth grade spent their three days on experiences that connect to their Modern World Cultures curriculum. On Monday, they welcomed American Revolutionary War reenactors to campus. The event connected with students’ historical study of independence movements around the world. Reenactors representing redcoats, minutemen, and civilians shared insight into the experience of living through a revolutionary movement, fighting in a war, and the impact those experiences have on a civilian population. That afternoon, students were joined by poet/activist Dariana Guerrero. She led students in an interactive writing and art-based workshop to think about the “places that make them.” Students drew a map of their neighborhood and then wrote a poem about a significant place in their neighborhood that has shaped their identity. On Tuesday, eighth graders ventured off campus, traveling to the Tsongas Historical Center in Lowell, where they learned about the New England immigration and refugee experience and engaged in town hall meetings and debates. On Wednesday, students traveled to Lawrence to learn about the immigrant populations that settled in the city. They also reconnected with Dariana Guerrero at El Taller, an Independent Bookstore & Café, where they continued their writer’s workshop.
Head of Upper School Jake Sumner is confident that the trips and experiences from the week will enrich the classroom experience this year. Whether studying a revolutionary movement or erosion within an ecosystem, “students can apply these real-world experiences to their curriculum and activities.”