Middle School Highlights

Updated 12/15/2016

The Middle School is facilitating opportunities for students to explore and discover the world around them through intentional experiential learning opportunities.  In addition to trips outside and field studies we are offering specific opportunities in each discipline we teach.  Some examples are listed below:


Bible
  • After reading Exodus 2, the 7th grade Bible class went outside to the pond to see if someone could really hide a basket in the reeds.
  • We students went outside to take pictures with I-Pads of examples of the results of the Fall of Man on nature, followed by discussion.
  • Students went outside and had students say one true statement, one false statement, and then one either true or false statement about any object they found outside. Students then tried to figure out if what the student was saying was either true or false.  The goal was to get the students to the essential question of “What is truth?”

Latin and Drama
  • In 7th and 8th grade Latin, students have conducted games, grammar\translation discussions, devotions, and independent and pair classwork activities outside.
  • In Drama Class, the majority of the lessons on block days have been conducted outside in order to utilize more space and teach the students how to project.  Students have conducted games, discussions, lectures, devotions, and performances outside with my Drama class.
  • 8th grade Latin class safely re-enact the battle of Cannae, which they had recently studied, by giving commands to each other and creating the appropriate formations. 
  • 7th and 8th grade Latin classes found objects in nature, researched the scientific Latin name (or description) for the object, and then shared their findings. 
  • 6th grade Latin classes formed groups and practiced presenting their arguments for their courtroom skit “The Case for Latin.” 
  • Classes have been taken out at least twice a week in order to translate stories, play games, and participate in creative writing activities in Latin. 
  • In Drama classes, students have conducted rehearsals, games, and skill-building activities in the outdoors.

Math
  • Students measured the circumference of a tree in both inches and centimeters. They then discovered how to work backwards with the formula to find the diameter and radius of the tree.
  • Students practiced using measurement tools (rulers, protractors, and wheel) to measure objects in inches, feet and centimeters.
  • (Pre-algebra only) students measured the length of shadows (tree and self) to predict the height of trees using similar triangles and proportions.
  • Use similar triangles (right triangles) to discover heights of trees.
  • Find volume and surface area of tents (composite solids).
  • Students measured the heights 6 bushes or plants around campus. Students used the data to find the average height of the plants measured by the class. Several thought provoking questions concerning average were then asked and discussed.

 

English
  • While studying the elements of plot in fiction, the 7th & 8th grade English classes participated in a writing workshop with the objective of choosing 5 real possible story settings (ex: the creek) and expounding upon those natural settings to create an imagined one. (Ex: a creek that flows to a magical land).
  • Writing Workshop - natural elements that appeal to the 5 senses (short story prep. / descriptive essay prep.)
  • Outdoor Oral Narration - 8th Grade
  • Hyperbole Circle - 7th Grade
  • Nouns in Nature outside
  • Reflective writing outside
  • Writing stories about nature, using students’ senses and implementing fiction and nonfiction elements.
  • Writing stories in nature using hyperboles students have written in class


Geography & History
  • Eighth Grade U.S. History: Early Native Americans.  Students observed the woods near the outdoor classroom and, working in groups, described ways early Americans would have used that environment to build shelter, find food, and defend themselves.
  • Seventh Grade Geography assembled sundials (STEAM) then went outside and used the sun to calibrate them.
  • Seventh grade, using their sundials measured the length of the shadow, they will go out and, with their sundials in the same location measure the length of the shadow to record any change from season to season.
  • Seventh grade found two deciduous trees and two coniferous trees. They recorded facts about the leaves and bark, and took pictures of the trees. They will go out every 30 days to record changes in the leaves and bark.
  • Seventh grade: Combining review with practicing observation skills and situational awareness (using all our senses)
  • Photo scavenger hunts using the I-Pads at the creek
  • 3 different “spark walks” outside to review for tests/quizzes
  • Outdoor scavenger hunt by the creek
  • Utilizing the outdoor classroom once a week from August to October
  • Day trip to the Chickamauga Battlefield with the 6th grade
  • Spark walk outside before each test 
  • Scavenger Hunt - comparing and contrasting made-made items and natural created items.
  • Nature walk around campus taking pictures of Deciduous & coniferous trees. Research their names and comparing with Deciduous Coniferous trees in Europe.               

   

Science
  • The chemistry of fire building. Students use a stick of magnesium to start fires (concept of using a Group 2 Metal, surface area, and activation energy)
  • Collecting natural items and measuring and determining the density of each item in water.
  • Classify natural items the students gather into groups according to similar structure.
  • Using earth's magnetic field to create a compass out of a leaf, a magnet and a paper clip.
  • Observation of nature using the 5 senses
  • Creation Story in Nature Sketches
  • Characteristics of living things sketches
  • Outdoor Creation Scavenger Hunt
  • Outdoor Review Game- The Wall of Five


Art
  • Drawing shadows (girls classes), then painted with watercolors
  • Nature Stacks to go with word Stacks in the classroom
  • Observing Perspective rules in nature and architecture - one and two point perspective
  • Drawing in nature- textures, lines, etc.
  • Drawing textures
  • Photography - taking pictures outside in nature - learning rules of composition, thirds and etc.
  • Alphabet Photography using things outside and in nature to create letters - go with Ribbon Letters project

Physical Education
  • Teach students the scientific data regarding the health benefits of being in the outdoors.
  • Trail runs and hikes
  • Outdoor Fitness, using natural objects and surroundings
  • Teach students how to manage outdoor risks.
  • Use heart rate monitors to teach students about variables such as weather and humidity that influence heart rate.
  • Team-building and leadership games
  • Natural objects scavenger hunt game
  • Classes go outside each day to run. (Frequently changing the route, laps and intensity.)  Students learn to adapt to different weather conditions as well.  
  • Play games in the practice field after running.  The students are learning to organize their teams and officiate the game while being competitive and fair.


Impact
  • Finding Parts of Speech in Nature
  • Sketching landforms and physical features around school
  • Outdoor Classroom for History
  • Modeling vast distances in space-Earth to the Sun
  • Balloon rockets- form a hypothesis and run an experiment to see which balloons fly farther and faster
  • Take block break by walking outside and around the building.  The fresh air is relaxing and helps to refresh the brain and get a new perspective.


Keyboarding/Technology
  • Take pictures outdoors and use for a background for their favorite Bible verses to use for PowerPoint or Hawk Talk. Tools to use: iPad camera, computer, Photoshop, PowerPoint
  • Plant identification App Review: Students download free plant identification apps and write a review on Google docs on its pros and cons. Students test their apps outside while utilizing their notes. Tools to use: iPad, computer, Photoshop, Powerpoint, Docs, notes app
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