7th & 8th Grades: Annual Class Trip (Shawnee National Forest & St. Louis!)


7th & 8th Grades: Annual Class Trip—
Shawnee National Forest & St. Louis!

Da Vinci Waldorf School - Wauconda, IL - 7th & 8th Grades: Annual Class Trip (Shawnee National Forest & St. Louis!)

Da Vinci Waldorf School - Wauconda, IL - 7th & 8th Grades: Annual Class Trip (Shawnee National Forest & St. Louis!)April 29th through May 5th our seventh and eighth graders went on their annual class trip. Class trips in Waldorf Schools are curricular in nature. Students take their first trip in the third grade—the farm trip, which is usually a three day trip to a nearby farm to see, learn and work. As students grow, trips push further and further out into the world, going farther in distance and becoming longer in length.

This year’s destination for our oldest students was the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri.

The journey really began back in October with a trek to a historic quarry in Lemont, Illinois. While there, students explored the techniques man has used for moving and building with rock. Several of the historic buildings in Chicago were built with stone from the Lemont quarry. This tied back into the students’ exploration of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture during last year’s class trip. It also led into their sculpture artwork this year.

Da Vinci Waldorf School - Wauconda, IL - 7th & 8th Grades: Annual Class Trip (Shawnee National Forest & St. Louis!)The class trip brought many aspects of the curriculum together, such as local geography from fourth grade, early American history from this year, and meteorology. The trip also provided an excellent foundation for the physics block that they undertook upon their return. For example, the rock climbing guides—Jon and Jim from Vertical Voyages—gave excellent examples of several simple machines created by the students own actions.

Da Vinci Waldorf School - Wauconda, IL - 7th & 8th Grades: Annual Class Trip (Shawnee National Forest & St. Louis!)The group battled flood level rains to experience the joys of hiking under waterfalls and over “boulders in the sky” in Shawnee National Forest. They went rock climbing. They stood inside a national monument to westward expansion at the St. Louis Gateway Arch, and learned how such a feat of engineering was accomplished. Last but not least, they tackled St.Louis City Museum, which truly defies description. The class spent 5 hours scouring every available inch (anything that was not closed due to the rain), and still didn’t discover all the museum’s mysteries.
All in all it was a great experience for everyone, during which we laughed, sang, cooked, cleaned and played together!