For the Fall term, the whole of the school studied the earth sciences, with each classroom taking a specific section of study. D’s Loowit classroom (1st and 2nd graders) studied volcanos in a deep way, visiting Mt. Saint Helens twice, and studying all the mind-bending minutiae you can imagine about when and how volcanos erupt.
The goal of the Culminating Event is to present a term’s worth of knowledge to the student’s friends and family, though “beautiful work”–and how truly beautiful it was.
The program began with a “Reader’s Theater” where all the kiddos had a part to read. Dashiell had a starring role of David Johnston, the vulcanologist who lost his life warning Vancouver of the coming eruption, and the man for whom the Observatory is named. Pretty cool role, huh? He didn’t have many lines though (ha! Funnily enough, in last year’s Reader’s Theater, he played Amos Short, who also died…seeing a theme here). This is a somewhat long but very interesting piece that includes how the eruption changed the environment, affecting the animals and the soil, laying the foundation for a thriving crop of lupine.
Here is the Reader’s Theater:
Next up came a performance of the song “Rumble,” a hilarious and catchy diddy about the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens.
Then the real show began: reviewing work in the classroom. Where to start? First, the extended Loowit class (40 kids) reproduced the Cascade Range, in clay, to scale: each mountain! D worked on Mt. Jefferson. It was incredible to look through both ‘east’ and ‘west’ Loowit classrooms and the whole range in perspective (I don’t have a clear shot of the whole range in the slideshow below but hope you get the idea). Then, in art class, each child made a ceramic volcano (D named his Mt. Kablewy). There was also a 2d rendering of the Cascade Range, and other related work. Enjoy this slideshow of all the “beautiful work.”