In the afternoon, students attend electives. We are proud of the extensive smorgasbord of offerings this summer!
The “advertisement” video from Family Orientation can be viewed here.
New Haven Politics: Who Rules Our City? Mr Levine
In this class, we will study the history and current political system of New Haven. We will read, watch films, go on walking tours of the city, and talk to historians, politicians, journalists, and community leaders and activists. We will try to understand why the city looks the way it does now, and how political power has been distributed over time. Finally we will examine the current mayoral race, at the end of which we will elect ourselves a mayor. Overall, two questions will be central to us: what is democracy in New Haven, and what should it be?
Radio Journalism, Ms. Calagiovanni and Mr. Levine
What happens when we take journalism from the page to the radio? In this elective, we will explore the medium of radio journalism: telling stories through sound. Through a variety of projects, we will explore and investigate the world around us. We will learn about recording sound, conducting interviews, and putting it all together into an exciting final product.
The Force vs. Buildings: The Physics of Buildings and Structures, Ms. Lee
Ever wondered how buildings are planned and built? In this course, we’ll become engineers exploring the physics behind buildings and structures. We’ll look at how buildings withstand gravity and high winds, and how they survive natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes. Using our new knowledge, we’ll even build some structures of our own and see how they can withstand the forces!
Game Time, Ms. Tobin
What are the 17 basic rules of soccer? Who is Ronaldo? What inequalities exist in the game of soccer? Through lively discussions, soccer demonstrations, and documentaries, students will learn about the history of soccer and the impact the game has had on different countries worldwide. Students will participate in interactive soccer drills, including juggling, shooting, and soccer tennis, in order to develop an active, involved understanding of the game. Finally, this course will culminate in a discussion of the sport as a force of change and by playing a scrimmage the last day of class.
The City: An Investigation, Ms. A-P
What is a city and how does it work? Using New Haven as our guide we will investigate how cities meet human needs and have their perks. We’ll look through clues like maps every class period, go on clue-finding expeditions, and ultimately decide what we would do to make the city even better! Students are required to have a brain and a desire to understand their city better, and be excited to investigate!
Building Dance: Movement and Choreography, Ms. A-P and Ms. Morris
What defines dance? What are the basic elements that link ballet to hip hop to modern to swing? How could all these different forms fall under the same category? In this elective we will work toward answering these questions by looking closely at the way that dances are constructed. We will begin by building up a basic movement vocabulary then work on manipulating these movements, focusing each week on different specific elements such as tempo, space, form, and quality. Students will learn about different styles of dance in order to see how each style uses the same elements to create a different effect. Students will use these tools to create their own phrases of movement and at the end of the elective students will perform a collaborative piece of their own creation!
The Dinos Aren’t Dead! : A Scientific Exploration of Dinosaurs and Birds, Ms. Morris
More than 200 million years before humans walked this planet, dinosaurs ruled it. But what remains now of those gigantic and majestic beasts? We have fossils, but we also have living remains. Modern day birds, the descendants of dinosaurs, give us living clues into the past of their long extinct ancestors. In this course we will work to uncover the relationship between birds and dinosaurs. We will also explore the most unique and mysterious features of birds: How do they learn their songs? How do they navigate on their long migration voyages? Students will also get to apply their knowledge of birds to the world around them, becoming familiar with the birds that inhabit their own city.
Hands-On Classical: Classical Music Explained Through Activities, Mr. Veitch
In this elective, we will study the different facets of classical music. Through hands-on activities, students will learn about pitch, rhythm, melody, musical instruments, structure, composers, and musical expression. Examples of activities include manipulating pitch with water in glass jars, creating musical instruments with everyday materials, and writing stories based on what one hears in a piece of music. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand a work of classical music in terms of its components and express an opinion about the work using specific terminology.
Natural Disasters: Tornadoes, Volcanoes, and Blizzards—Oh, My! Mr. Veitch and Ms. Tobin
How does a tornado form? What makes a volcano erupt? How did one storm bring three feet of snow to New Haven? This elective focuses on various types of natural disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and blizzards. Through hands-on experiments, such as simulating soil liquefaction in earthquakes using water and sand, students will learn the science behind these disasters and develop research skills along the way. Students will also learn historical examples of and safety precautions for each type of disaster. The course will culminate in a research project on new technologies to combat the harmful effects of natural disasters. Students will leave the course with a better understanding of the natural world and its relationship with human beings.
Environmental Justice: A Social Movement to Unite All, Ms. Saracho
What does the Civil Rights Movement have to do with the Environmental Movement? How is Earth Day connected with the Montgomery Bus Boycott? We will investigate how all of these moments of social change are all related, all the way through today, and together explore everyday environmental impacts from flushing a toilet to driving a car. At the end of the summer students will be able to articulate what we can do as empowered communities to be a part of history.
Spoken Word, Ms. C
If performers become poets and poets become performers, the result is an exciting art form called spoken word. What’s that? Spoken word artist Sarah Kay calls it “poetry that doesn’t just want to sit on paper.” In this elective, we’ll watch and talk about the work of Kay and other performance poets. Then, we’ll become a spoken word “troupe,” or performance group, and work to write, edit, practice, and perform our own original spoken word pieces.
Journey to China, Ms. Saracho and Ms. Lee
Through engaging activities students will not only learn everyday useful phrases in Chinese, but also important aspects of Chinese culture. We’ll explore proper etiquette, delicious cuisine, and important festivals. By the end of the summer, the students will be more aware of the unique characteristics of China.