6th Grade Weekly Note

Dear 6th Grade Parents,

Whew, we made it through our first week back! This week we embarked on our second trimester. Throughout the next two months we will be dedicated to answering the question, "How do others define us?" Students will explore this question through multiple forums, with special attention to how Africa and Africans have been defined by outsiders. In addition, students will have the opportunity to build on the countries they created and shared in the fall.

We looked at humanitarian organization and their influence on African communities. We began this week by spotlighting missionary work in Ethiopia. As part of our study, students interviewed Anna Park, a TPS teacher who attended schools for the children of missionaries in Ethiopia and Kenya. Our 6th graders questioned Anna about her experiences in the schools, the quality of education, and the pros and cons of missionary work.

We looked further into humanitarianism by watching videos on a couple of NGOs that work in Liberia and Rwanda. One of them, FACE Africa, builds wells to provide clean water. Another, MindLeaps, uses the forum of dance to give opportunities and education to street children. Later in the week Jenny Bogoni, who has experience working with the Peace Corps in Gabon, came in and shared about her time there. We delved into discussion about whether or not the solutions these organizations provided were the best ones for the community and who decides what is best for a community.

In math, students worked in teams to develop a proposal for how to create a giant timeline in our stairwell. Teams figured out to fit events from 200,000 BCE to current day. Each team developed different scales and incorporated various technological features to present their proposals on Friday. The giant timeline will be used to hang multiple assignments that will be created throughout the semester.

In language arts we started a unit on poetry by looking at how poetry has influenced our lives since early childhood, through Dr. Suess, Shel Silverstein, haiku, and song lyrics. We will begin reading Home of the Brave, a book of poems about the experience of the Sudanese lost boys journey of living in America.

Questions to ask your 6th grade child:

  • What is your teams proposal for the timeline hallway project?
  • What is one of the major ethnic groups in your assigned African country?
  • What is an interesting fact you learned from the interview with TPS parent Jenny Bogoni?
  • You have watched a video and read about the Lost Boys of Sudan. What do you think impacted their lives the most in their journey?
  • What is your winter community service group?

Have a wonderful weekend,

The 6th Grade Team