SPRING 2019 daytime CLASSES
JANUARY - JUNE 2019
SCIENCE OF DOCTORS
Tuesdays, 9:30pm - 3:00pm | Ages 8 - 14 | January - June 2019
Journeys through medicine, anatomy, first aid and herbalism. With Ngonda Badila and Heylan Tsumagari.
In our weekly Science of Doctors, we learned about the day-to-day work of different kinds of doctors and healers: we met with local dermatologists, a nurse who taught us about blood pressure, a physical trainer working with the muscular system, an herbalist, a farmer working with animals, and we took field trips to visit the Greenport Rescue Squad and the emergency room at the Columbia Memorial Hospital. Back at our nest, each week we dove into in-depth explorations of anatomy, learning about a different body system each week: our integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, endocrine, cardiovascular, digestive and neurological systems. Through creative activities, experiments and games we learned about how cells work, how skin functions, about our neurons and nerves, our blood, our bacteria, and more. We always considered the various perspectives around health and healing, weaving together biomedical, naturopathic, and holistic frameworks, reflecting on our understandings of our own bodies. We also focused on the issues of health equity, environmental justice, and the idea of health as a human right: and together as a class we imagined our ideal health clinic.
Thursdays, 9:30pm - 3:00pm | Ages 8 - 14 | January - June 2019
Creative and interactive Spanish immersion. With Emily Carpenter, Zebi Williams, and Rebecca Posner.
At the beginning of our semester, we worked together to map out our language strategy, centered around five elements: learning “Survival Words and Phrases”; writing our own personal biographies and translating them into Spanish; learning to conjugate -AR verbs; identifying and practicing cognates (words that are similar in two languages); and building basic vocabulary around themes.
Each week, we began the day with a morning conversation practice: Buenos Días! Como te llamas? Como estás? Each morning students could then choose among rotating language stations, each with a different activity - including games, art projects, bilingual reading libraries, flash card play, worksheets, music, and computer games (like the language-learning app Duolingo). The stations were designed to serve the range of learning styles, literacy levels, and familiarity with Spanish within our classroom. At the end of our mornings, students would come back together to share which stations they had visited, and to give feedback on the activities.
Throughout the semester we engaged in historical re-enactments to understand the history of colonialism and how the Spanish language spread across the Americas. We learned about the etymology of English - (the language our students speak) - to better understand the influence of other languages on the words that we believe belong to us, and to develop our confidence around learning languages other than our own. Emily from the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement led a workshop about issues facing immigrants in Columbia County, how immigration status affects peoples’ human rights, and movements for immigrant justice. Our class then wrote a letter to Didi Barrett, our Assemblymember, sharing their support for the Greenlight Campaign. Other activities and adventures included: a field trip to Casa Latina Pupusas y Mas, where we met with the owner Maria and learned about her story and her support for the Greenlight Campaign. We played soccer with Bryan from the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, as we learned vocabulary about the body. We visited the local Trevor Zoo, visiting pandas and lemurs as we learned animal vocabulary. We baked tres leches cake and made Mexican hot chocolate, translating the recipe and shopping for ingredients at our class tienda. And throughout the semester we played games -- like Jeopardy and a Spanish-language-themed escape room -- to review the words we were learning.
For the final month of class, we collaborated with a stop motion animation artist to create short GIFs that we could pair with our Spanish-language bios. As a class we wrote and recorded scripts, and created props, characters, and scenes for our final film. We closed every day with a group chant: El Pueblo, Unido, Jamas Sera Vencido! (The People United, Shall Never Be Defeated). And: "Si Se Puede!" (Yes We Can!)
GAME DESIGN & INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
Mondays, 9:30pm - 3:00pm | Ages 8 - 14 | January - June 2019
The math and mechanics of play, the stories and worlds of games. With David Eustace and Zebi Williams.
This semester we explored the many ways game designers can use games to tell stories, teach history, build empathy, and imagine other worlds. We conducted field research to learn about contemporary gaming culture, explored the ancient history of games, and deconstructed games together to break down the key concepts of game design. We took on the challenge of creating board games around social issues we are moved by, including: extinction of animals, global warming, depression in society, and the invisibility of women’s work. We learned about various narrative structures in games, including linear and non-linear storytelling, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, branching narrative structures, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person narratives. We focused in on the narrative structure of the Hero’s Journey, using this storytelling structure as a tool for understanding our own personal archetypes, shadow selves, challenges, calls to adventures, fears, and origin stories. During our end-of-semester game design lab, students worked on their own projects: using their new design skills to write, prototype, playtest, and workshop their games.