of our learning expeditions challenges students to engage actively in
new content and skills. Specific Learning Expeditions vary from year to
year in response to current events and/or students’ needs and interests.
Examples are described below.
Eat Food, Mostly Plants
learn about plants by growing plants from seed and conducting
observations and investigations in the G&P courtyard garden. We also
explore the importance of plants in our diet and we learn about local
and seasonal fruits and vegetables. We visit a local Farmers Market as
well as a traditional supermarket to compare the “food value” of items
available. For our culminating project, we work together to create a
“Local Food Guide” that features interviews with experts on food issues
and articles about plants and plant-based foods.
investigate the history of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies
during the years of 1620 – 1776. Our exploration builds on students’
study of the Wampanoag people and culture in Grades 1 and 2. In Grade 3,
we look at what happens when Europeans arrive in the land settled by
the Wampanoags and we consider the collaboration and conflict between
these groups. We also learn about the Massachusetts colonists’ growing
tensions with England and we come to understand the Patriots’ eventual
determination to separate.
Rocks, Minerals and Mysteries
this learning expedition, we use clues to identify rocks, just like
detectives use evidence to solve mysteries. We practice closely
observing and comparing characteristics, and using these skills to make
inferences. While we undertake the work of geologists, we read and write
mysteries and look at how inferential thinking takes place in both the
sciences and the humanities.
Our Habitat: Cambridge
look at how Cambridge provides a habitat for plants and animals, and
consider why particular organisms are suitably adapted to life in our
local environment. Then we ask ourselves, “What other needs do human
beings require in a habitat?” We look at the way a city’s government and
economy meet the needs of its residents, and we consider the role that
art plays in people’s lives. Finally, we immerse ourselves in the
history of our unique human habitat, from the 1620’s through the present