From fundamental needs to immigration, the Upper Elementary (9-12) students have been exploring the question "what is culture?" as their theme for the year. They started the year learning about the fundamental needs of humans, which led to research about fundamental needs in the United States and different countries.
"They learned that all countries provide the same basic fundamental needs but there are differences in how they meet those needs," said lead 9-12 teacher Allie Colflesh.
On the heels of a recent study of immigration, the students have launched into a broader study of the 50 states during the past two weeks. Each student chose a state (excluding Delaware and neighboring states) to study and identified key political and geographical data about that state, including the state capital, population, major cities, senators and representatives, number of electoral votes, bodies of water, and the state bird, tree and flower. After plotting a scale model of their state onto parchment paper, they created cutouts in the shape of their state from cookie dough. They have been baking their states this week and decorating them with key information about their state (capitals, major cities, etc.).
In the new year, they will take a "road trip" through various states and record their experiences in a travelogue. By the end of this unit about states, Allie hopes students will apply new meaning to the idea of the united states.
"We're all different, but our differences make us stronger," she said.