As we wrapped up our exploration of Ancient Rome and the Middle Ages each student took a chance to share the biography of a historical figure from these time periods. Some summarized the life of their figure while others brought a dramatic presentation of a story from the figure’s life that they found particularly interesting.
Where I’m From
Where I’m From
On Friday, September 8th, the students and teachers of Da Vinci’s grade school enjoyed Beach and Nature Exploration Day! They ventured to Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park in Zion for a day filled with exploration and fun.
We are extremely grateful for the transportation by bus, which was made possible by a $1,000 biodiversity grant received from Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Independence Tube Corporation, the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation, the D. F. and M. T. Grohne Family Foundation and the Illinois Conservation Foundation.
Students took time to explore the local terrain and learn about the land and wildlife of northern Illinois. They enjoyed a hike through forests and along the beach, observing their surroundings as they went. There was a scavenger hunt and a group lunch. The very cool weather prevented the planned swimming treat, but students were able to wade and splash in the water and had a great time in the natural surroundings.
Many thanks to our teachers for enabling such a special outing for our students, and thanks to Mrs. Kristine Fiskum for the excellent snapshots of the day!
This week we learned the ancient Romans were not the first people to create stone arches. However, they harnessed their potential more than ever before, arranging them at intervals that allowed them to create massive structures such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon. Working in two teams, the students created a series of clay blocks and tried their hands at making a single arch that utilized all their blocks. It was not as easy as they expected!
Last week, during our first sculpture class, the 7th and 8th graders were asked to gather materials from nature and assemble them into a fully three-dimensional sculpture. This week we worked with the idea of relief sculpture. Initially the students thought the term relief had to do with the stress relieving activity of playing in the sand. However, they soon discovered ways to work with this material from their childhood that reflected their growing understanding of the world.
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The Rose Ceremony was a beautiful beginning to the first day of school and a warm welcoming of our new first grade class. As we came together as a community to share and honor this milestone, excitement was shining from each new face. The first graders were gathered by their teacher as the spectator circle swelled. Parents held their breaths, laughed, shed tears, and smiled as the children of the new first grade class took the first steps of their new journey as grade-schoolers. Our oldest, eight-grade student welcomed each of them with a smile, a handshake and a rose. During Graduation in June this welcome will be reciprocated with a send-off in another Rose Ceremony.
I’m struck by the cycle at work, and the intricate ways in which our paths are interwoven. Each young child is ushered into the school community, and will someday complete the circle – and begin it anew – as they hand out a rose as an eighth grader to begin the next cycle.
“Life is not made up of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years, but of moments.”
― Sarah Ban Breathnach
In the Classroom
Follow each class through the school year. Visit often to enjoy photos and information about curriculum, field trips, exciting happenings, special moments, celebrations and more.