junior unit

A Search for Heroes

On Thursday, the Junior Unit was off to The Philadelphia Museum of Art!  forward to see the exhibit The Wrath of the Gods: Masterpieces by Rubens, Michelangelo, and Titian.  Before our trip we watched a brief video to prep us for our visit and discussed proper museum behavior.

Our students throughly impressed our museum educator with their knowledge of Greek mythology and their ability to think critically about art. We looked closely at the “Prometheus Bound” painting by Rubens and compared it to works by Titian. Students also learned more about the Diana/Artemis statue, a tapestry with Atlas and Hercules in the middle, a marriage chest with Demeter and Persephone, and a painting done in the likeness of Orpheus. Students were inquisitive and made wonderful connections across the works we saw as well as to others we’ve looked at in class. They were engaged and respectful museum goers, and their teachers were very proud of them!

A Classroom of Student Teachers!

JU-B 4th and 5th graders spent the winter working in inquiry groups to become an expert on a topic related to Ancient China. This spring, each group is taking over a week of morning meetings. Students are thinking about scope, sequence, presentation, student engagement, and assessment as they prepare five 10-minute discussions and two 40-minute lessons on their topic.

JU Graphic Novel Authors!

JU-B 4th and 5th graders have been tearing through graphic novels! In response to their love of the medium and as an extension to the picture book project we completed earlier in the year, students created a class graphic novel.

After reading The Magical Monkey King, Michief in Heaven as told by JI-LI Jiang, each student took on one chapter from the story. First, students determined the main ideas of their chapter, chunked the ideas into panels, and worked with their chapter "neighbors" to create smooth transitions and a sense of flow throughout the novel. Students then created small-scale drafts of their individual page for the class book. 

With their draft done, students set to work measuring and dividing out the page in order to fit the number of panels needed in the shapes they wanted. Afterwards, they represented their chapter through a combination of words and image. As students finished up their own page, they focused on the cover, title page, table of contents, back cover summary, review snippets, and the authors' bios.  Come visit JU-B to see the final product!

HMS & TPS Partnership

Dan Lai and Hilary Hamilton's Junior Unit students are collaborating on a musical with students at the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy, located in University City. The musical was written by playwright and composer Andrea Green, who is on the staff of HMS.

TPS students go once a week to HMS so they can work with their partners. In addition, the director and movement instructor from HMS come to TPS for an additional rehearsal. So far, it has been a wonderful collaboration for the children and faculty of both schools.

The plan is to put the show on for HMS students and the TPS Junior Unit on March 12. There will also be an evening performance for parents; the date has not yet been confirmed, but we will let families know as soon as it is.

HMS serves school-age children and young adults through age 21 who have complex, multiple disabilities usually resulting from cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, or other neurological impairment.



Chinese Cuisine

What would a study of China be without learning something about Chinese cuisine? Three workshops, led by guest chef Deb Sloman, introduced Junior Unit children to a variety of Chinese dishes and taught them a thing or two about chopping with a knife!