Themes, Displays, & Performances
Each year, Schoolhouse elementary students explore two academic themes: a science theme and a cultural theme. Some examples of past years’ themes include Origins/Oceans/Africa and Roots/Plants/Europe. The curriculum is built around these themes. They permeate learning throughout the school year and are the basis of school-wide displays, a play and some short courses.
School-wide displays are the culmination of weeks of research, work and thought on a topic related to each theme and chosen by each child. Each student produces a display that incorporates written work, visual arts and a three-dimensional representation. On the day of the display, children share their knowledge with the school-wide community and explain and discuss their work with parents and visitors.
The school year is organized around several school-wide displays and performances.
- Hidden Worlds: children display stories they write about a fantasy world
- Science Display: children research a topic from the year’s science theme and present their display
- Kwanzaa: children learn about African American culture, family traditions and participate in presentations and song
- School Play: all children perform in a play that relates to the year’s cultural theme
- Cultural Display: children research a topic from the year’s cultural theme and present their displays
- Art Display: children present artwork in many mediums
- Closing Ceremony: In addition to the academic knowledge and skills each child gains from preparing for the displays and the play, these school-wide projects focus children’s awareness on relationships within larger contexts and give them opportunities to share knowledge and collaborate with one another. School events also provide children with the practice necessary to gain confidence in performance and public speaking.