Junior High 2

Junior High 2 Projects


We start off the year with a unit on the creation of life on earth. In English, we read creation stories from around the world and write our own creation poems. In history, we study timelines of earth and the work of archeologists. In biology, we learn about cells as the basic building block of life. In art, we study Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam on the Sistine Chapel. We also visit the Natural History Museum for a look at fossils that tell us about the beginning of life on earth.

The Stone Age

Our next unit is the Stone Age. We read a novel about a boy who wants to become a cave painter and write descriptions of the caves at Lascaux.  In arts and crafts lessons, we make prehistoric drawings by candlelight, form pottery decorated with seashell prints, and sew leather pouches. In history, we learn how societies began to develop, about the taming of animals and fire, the invention of tools and farming and the first explorations into new continents. In our introductory architecture workshop, hosted by a visiting architect, we examine the first spaces that people created for themselves.

Ancient Egypt

In this unit, we read a novel about an imaginary voyage by kids our age to the world of ancient Egypt. We examine Egyptian artifacts at the Art History Museum and write about them. In arts and crafts, we make Egyptian bracelets and headdress and practice hieroglyphics. In history, we study the Nile and farming around the Nile, mummies, pharaohs and gods. We learn about everyday life and play an ancient Egyptian board game. We have a Nile picnic with the foods that grew along this mighty river. During the architecture workshop, we study the pyramids as icons of the era.

Ancient Greece and Rome

During this unit, we read the Odyssey and the Iliad in our German class as well as Greek myths in our English lessons. In arts and crafts, we study classical Greek sculpture and work with mosaics. We learn about new government systems, everyday life and spiritual life in history. The architecture workshop allows us to explore the design of theaters as public spaces- a new concept during this era of democracy. We have a wonderful finale to this unit: a Greek week with student directed performances of Greeks myths, a tour at the Art History Museum and a meal at a local Greek restaurant.

The Middle Ages

We read the novel Don Quixote as a bilingual Spanish-English project. We research and document the rise and falls of empires, kingdoms and families in history. We learn about knights and castles. We study the contributions of monasteries and convents to education, medicine and the arts. We learn about the life of Hildegard von Bingen and sip herbal tea in her honor. In the architecture workshop, we study the design of cathedrals as sacred spaces. In arts and crafts, we practice the script found in medieval texts, study Picasso’s illustration of Don Quixote and create stained glass windows and a coat of arms for our classroom. On our fieldtrip for this unit, we explore medieval art and music.

Back to the Future

At the end of the year, we return to an ecology-based unit and think about what our planet will look like in the future. We reflect on how we want our age to be documented in the history books and what footprint we want to leave behind.