The Norse Mythology sagas of creation, destruction, self-sacrifice and corruption, in which gods act like ordinary mortals, feed the students’ growing curiosity about human nature, as well as their increasingly sophisticated ability to discern moral from immoral behavior.
The study of Local Geography introduces a new, hypothetical perspective: the bird’s-eye view. Maps are drawn, first of the child’s bedroom, then the home, the classroom, the school, the town, and finally the state. Geography is experienced in new, unforgettable ways, such as a rafting trip down the Housatonic River or a sail down the Connecticut River.
Understanding the vast timelines involved in the history of Connecticut, beginning with the shaping of the land and the lives of Native Americans, helps students place themselves within the span of time as well as space. Drawing complex knot forms similarly develops capacities for spatial orientation, pre-planning, beauty, and form.
The Main Lesson block known as Human Being and Animal delights the students as it explores the differences between humans and our beloved companions, the animals. Each student chooses one animal found in the Northeast, studies it in depth, and creates a story or other artistic presentation about it.
Playing diatonic flutes and stringed instruments in separate parts, as well as singing multi-part songs and rounds, requires students to separate themselves from the comfortable unison of former years. Similarly, the study of Fractions introduces the splitting of wholes, just when the students are themselves becoming “fractious,” splitting hairs and asking potentially unsettling questions about the world they happily took for granted even a year ago.
Field Trips may include museums; aquarium/zoo; rafting/sailing trip; nature walks/hikes.