Friday, February 8, 2019

Learning about Ancient Greece Together

One of the unique aspects of our multi-age program is our commitment to deep dives into rotating Main Lesson units.  For six to seven weeks the entire school studies the same topic.  We alternate between studying science and history and cover all subjects on a three to four year loop so that students are exposed to the material once in the Lower Classroom and again in the Upper Classroom.  Historical units often culminate with a school-wide celebration of the culture studied.  

This January we studied Ancient Greece.  We read myths, learned about their religion, government and culture, studied classical Greek architecture with a local carpenter, and brought in a scholar to teach us about the Greek language and some of the most famous philosophers.  Students read Greek myths in Language Arts, learned Greek dances and songs in Music, practiced classic Greek Pentathlon events in Phys Ed., and made Greek inspired drawings, paintings, and pots in Art.  

When the learning goals were complete and everyone was fully engaged and excited, we capped off our unit with a school-wide Pentathlon complete with awards for truth (distance and speed), beauty (accuracy and form) and courage, handed out in a laurel ceremony by our director, who dressed as Athena herself.  We cooked classic Greek dishes and feasted on new flavors, happy to be celebrating, but sad to see the unit end.  

This is what project based learning looks like.  It takes a big topic, makes it accessible and interesting, and results in students who are actively and excitedly engaged in the process of turning curiosity into knowledge and understanding. 

progressive education

experiential learning, progressive education, aurora, ny

private school aurora, NY experiential learning, progressive education