History / Art / Culture

Biographies: People Who Changed the World • Grades 5-8

Combining History, Language Arts, and Science, students will travel through time to meet people who changed the world. After each historical figure (such as Leonardo Da Vinci or Marie Curie) is introduced through story, students will step into their shoes by experiencing hands-on activities that relate to their lives. Students will create a lesson book page to reinforce their learning and expand their skills through summarizing, writing and drawing. Students will complete a page for each historical figure into their lesson books that they can take home for further inspiration and study. 10-week course will cover approximately five historical figures; biographies chosen will vary from semester to semester:

  • Leonardo Da Vinci (mirror writing, experiments with water)
  • Avicenna, a doctor & author born in 980 (Indian number system, Arabic writing, memorizing)
  • Aristotle
  • Plato
  • Sacajewea (invaluable to helping Lewis & Clark travel to the Pacific coast)
  • Marie Curie (first woman to win Noble Prize, radium, x-ray machine with daughter)
  • Maria Mitchell (self educated Astronomer, first to photograph the sun, studied Jupiter & Saturn)
  • Eleanor Roosevelt (United Nations committee that wrote the Declaration of Human Rights)
  • Florence Nighingale (nursing)
  • Einstein (experiments)

New! The Greeks: Study of Early Western Civilization through Mythology, History & Art • Grades 4-8
Why are our government buildings often adorned with columns? Why are the planets named after gods and goddesses? Can we really trace the roots of our government back over 2,000 years?

Through story, lecture, and discussion we will explore these and other topics as we explore the foundations of our present day. Students should come to class with pen, pencil and colored pencils along with a standard-size folder.

Heroes & Fables • Grades 1-3

Children in the early grades are learning to increase their independence. This is the perfect time to bring them fables (with hidden lessons), tall tales and stories with heroes that exemplify the best of humanity: kindness, compassion, courage.  Through storytelling, the children will build inner pictures of characters from tales such as Johnny Appleseed and The Lion and the Mouse.  Students will retell the story in their own words (building memory and sequencing skills) and also “live into” the stories and images creatively through a variety of medium such as acting out a scene, modeling with beeswax or illustrating the story with colored pencils or beeswax crayons. As a group, students will compose a sentence or two about each story which the teacher will write on the board. Depending on individual skills, students will have the opportunity to copy a word, sentence or more into their lesson books, creating a page for each story.

Although there is no “real” homework for this class, parents are requested to have their student retell the story to you the day after class. In this way, the story will “sleep” with the child and enter into the consciousness in a deep way. By retelling the next day, your student will be able to deepen his relationship with the characters and messages of the stories.

Heroes & Fables combines Language Arts, Drama and History.

All the World’s a Stage: Scriptwriting and Drama
The gods and goddesses of Greek mythology, kings and warriors of the Roman Empire, artists and scientists of the Renaissance, and the movers and shakers of the Industrial Revolution will serve to inspire the students to be playwrights and actors in this class. History comes to life on the stage as the students learn how to format and write a stage script, and in various ensembles, perform their plays as a finale to the 12-week course.  The class play offers a fantastic conduit for the students to learn valuable artistic, dramatic, musical and language arts skills. “With an opportunity to write their own dialogue and scripts, and then to act in them – well, what a great way to learn history, to be creative, and to have fun!” – Dr. Tan

Native American Storytelling & Crafts
This is a creative, experiential class, exploring Native American culture. Students will learn about Native American practices such as grinding corn and using a pump drill. Students will make “medicine” bags while learning about medicinal plants. Instructor will further customize the curriculum according to the developmental needs and interests of the students enrolled.

Renaissance Arts, Grades 4 – 8
This special class for older students will explore a variety of Renaissance period arts and crafts through lecture, discussion and hands-on projects. Students will experience of variety of crafts including paper-making, printing and pewter casting.