Welcome back to the weekly note after Spring Break! It was a fast and exciting first week as we threw ourselves into our spring exploration of Sense of Self in our science, language arts, and cultural studies work.
On Tuesday we returned to The Schuylkill Center, where we explored concepts of identity and change through two rotations. In the first, we discussed the classic Ship of Theseus thought experiment, which asks us to consider what it means to change and how much something can change while still retaining its identity. In the second, students wrote about what they thought had changed about the environment at The Schuylkill Center since the last time we were there. Students also selected a specific place to examine and take observational notes on that they will return to each week, comparing in order to see how things are growing and changing over the course of the spring.
In language arts, we have been reading and discussing Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, the story of a young Native American boy growing up on the Spokane Reservation in Washington State. He makes a critical choice that changes his life and forces him to confront aspects of his identity, as well as how he fits within the greater cultural landscape of the modern United States. It’s a deep and hilarious book that the students are loving -- be sure to ask your child about it this weekend!
In science and cultural studies, we have been exploring various facets of identity and discussing which are most important to us. In science, this work will take us to a further examination of these identities and how they relate to our familial, cultural, and genetic history. In cultural studies, we took a look at some casta paintings and examined the role they played in creating and solidifying various racial and social identities and hierarchies in 18th century North America.
The final Community Service term begins next week, and students have received their assignments. If your child has a job, please ask them what and when it is, and if they have a job before or after school, please help remind them next week to get into the routine.
We hope it was a great first week back for you and your children!
Until next week,
David, Steve, Melanie, and Jake