JU-D Weekly Note

Dear JU-D Families,

It was another adventurous week in JU-D. We enjoyed the winter weather as we explored the Chinese landscape, looked for locations to build a new civilization, finished up our class reading, and took a tour through Chinatown. 

This week students utilized satellite images to find the perfect spot for a new civilization. In teams they generated lists of geographically desirable and undesirable characteristics for starting a new society. We were able to build on prior knowledge about the birth of civilization to generate these lists. Opinions differed on what was actually best for civilization. Some students searched for areas with high mountains, while others were convinced that expansive plains and prairie land would be best. We will take these ideas and build on them as we begin a study of the roots of Chinese civilization in the Yellow River basin. 

This week marked the end of our reading of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Students are currently engaging in a red string project that will ask them to make connections across the entire book as they analyze the way folk tales influenced the story and the themes of the novel. 

Along with our study of ancient civilizations and our class reading we looked to the present this week as we journeyed to Chinatown. Studying this area allows students to see the way east and west have met in our own culture. Students realized through interviews and analyses of mural art that despite its name, Chinatown is actually a mosaic of cultures and experiences. Although it does not connect to China alone, this experience allowed students to see the way communities form while navigating cultural, ethnic, and racial differences. This gave students the chance to use skills we have been building to strengthen cultural competencies, including active listening and stereotype dismantling.

Finally, the week culminated in a celebration of the holidays and the spirit that goes along with them. The TPS community came out in force to sing a variety of seasonal songs at Encuentro. Students and teachers raised their voices in celebration of the season across multiple religious traditions, as well as songs that embrace the best of winter.

We hope you enjoy what is looking like a cold winter weekend ahead.  Please note a few brief reminders:

  • You should expect an email about the Bodies curriculum that Junior Unit will begin in the new year.  Thanks for reading it and responding.
  • On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., please join us for the Junior Unit winter concert. 

Have a good weekend,

Nick and Noelle