The 6th and 7th graders begin their second Explorations on March 10, when students again suspend their regular academic classwork to engage in a deep study of one topic.
For the 6th grade, the focus will be: Can Art Change the World? During this Exploration, students learn about various social problems through videos, readings, and small group discussions. They will explore art as a response to societal problems such as bullying, racism, homophobia, violence, and discrimination against people with disabilities. After three days of in-school workshops, our field studies will begin. During field studies students will use New York City as their classroom. They will tour artwork on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York, and in public spaces in New York City including a walking mural tour of Crown Heights. Students will also attend a performance of the Luke’s Orchestra at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center.
During the second week students will select a social issue they care about to explore more deeply using newly acquired research skills. They will participate in both art making and writing workshops in order to produce two works: an editorial about whether art can change the world and an original piece of artwork. Students will also meet local artists, view films that address the question of the impact of artwork in the world and engage in many rich discussions.
The 7th grade Exploration will focus on this question: Is our relationship to animals ethical? Students will learn about issues concerning the treatment of animals by participating in workshops, through videos and readings, and in small group discussions. They will also view films to deepen their understanding, such as “Project Nim” and “Blackfish.”
After three days of in-school workshops our field studies will begin. During field studies, students will use New York City as their classroom. They will explore questions about our relationship to animals in various contexts through visits to the NY Aquarium, the Bronx Zoo, The Animal Haven Shelter, and the American Museum of Natural History.
At the end of the second week students will select a specific sub-topic that they care about, such as animal testing, captivity, domestication and food ethic. With newly acquired research skills they will obtain a greater understanding of their topic. Students will then participate in art making and writing workshops in order to produce the following two final projects: an original video-recorded public service announcement about their chosen topic and an editorial essay in response to our big question.
On March 27, we invite middle school families to learn about our students’ learning! Our second Exploration Exposition for 6th and 7th grades will take place on Thursday, March 27 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the middle school. We hope to see you there!
Photo credit to MG Vander Elst