Good afternoon, parents!
We hope you’re well today. Here are the highlights from our week in the seventh grade.
This week’s Seed of Change was food, so in language arts, students read two articles about the abundance of sugar and corn derivatives hidden in the American diet. We then followed up that reading with a lab in Science that asked them to examine the nutritional information on the snacks they consume each day. They tracked the amount of sugar, carbs, fat, and protein they took in from those foods and drinks, and then measured out the equivalent mass of pure sugar to see how much of it they consume. It was a startling experience for some -- be sure to ask how it turned out for your child!
We concluded the week by watching the documentary Food, Inc., which explores the American food system and the ways in which it has been shaped, for good and ill, by political, economic, and technological forces throughout the twentieth century. We didn’t have time to finish the whole film, but it is available on Netflix if you’re interested in watching or if your child would like to finish the film at home. Next week we move on to disease and medicine!
In class this week, we also watched and discussed Martin Luther King, Jr’s most famous address, the “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. We examined Dr. King’s powerful use of imagery and metaphor throughout the address and discussed the speech’s primary themes: the calls for freedom, justice, and brotherhood. We also briefly discussed Dr. King’s more radical and controversial opinions and positions, such as his opposition to the Vietnam War, his calls to end poverty and exploitation of the poor, and his criticism of white moderates who supported the Civil Rights Movement in word but not in deed. By remembering these more contentious aspects of his legacy, students will hopefully have a greater appreciation for the scope of his call for justice and the many ways in which his dream has still not been realized.
Until next Friday,
Melanie, Jake, David, and Steve