Our 2017-18 Lower School theme is "Africa: Communities, Cultures, Creativity".
This year, Lower School students will be exploring the diverse countries, communities, and cultures that make up the continent of Africa. We look forward to understanding the different human, plant, and animal communities throughout Africa; "traveling" to the cities, towns, and villages; making maps; playing sports and games; reading folktales and poetry; researching natural resources; discussing the conservation efforts of Wangari Maathai, Jane Goodall, and others; studying and making traditional art, music, and theater; and discovering the relationships between various African countries and the global community.
As part of our theme study, we are delighted to be partnering with Level Up Village (LUV)
, an organization that delivers pioneering STEAM (STEM + Arts) enrichment courses. LUV courses promote design thinking and one-to-one collaboration on real-world problems between students at more than 250 schools in the U.S. and over 40 Global Partner organizations in 20+ countries. Our students will be partnering with classes from specific countries within Africa.
In Global Storybook Engineers
(K-2nd grade) students will engineer solutions to rescue story book heroes. During each lesson, students listen to a story, and after discussing the characters and the central conflict, they develop solutions of their own using materials such as spaghetti, marshmallows, and even brushbots. They share the results of their design challenges with global partners and learn about each other’s lives and cultures in the process.
In Global Scientists
, (3rd-4th grade) students will study the chemical properties of water, the water cycle, and the engineering design of aquifers and filtration systems to better understand how water systems can be polluted and purified. In collaboration with partners from developing countries, IMS students will engage in hands-on research on global water issues and propose solutions to these problems.
Students will interact with their Global Partners throughout the course via project collaboration and the exchange of video messages using Level Up Village’s Global Collaboration Platform--an easy-to-use and secure portal. These guided interactions allow students to share their findings, learn about each other’s lives, and discuss the real-life application of their learning. The result is meaningful global collaboration and an enhanced understanding of the world.
Often, it is our Lower School parents who bring some of the richest opportunities and collaborations to our theme studies. If you have ideas, interests, or personal contacts that you think could enrich our studies, please get in touch with Rebekah Jordan
or your child's classroom teacher.
For more information about the Level Up Village collaboration, you can watch a quick video here: Break Down Classroom Walls
. Please see the Level Up Village blog
for stories about LUV classrooms around the world and their press
We look forward to embarking on this global exploration!