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Expeditionary Thursdays Fieldwork (UG Social Studies ET 12/10)

Our Upper Grades students had a great day of fieldwork during today’s UG ET 12/10.


In Big History, students visited either the Metropolitan Museum or the Brooklyn Museum to closely study agrarian (early) civilizations and how humans have organized around agriculture.

One period of the Big History 2 class also continued their special collaboration with Reelworks by attending three workshops (basic video camera, interviewing, and set) to help students with their film projects.  Students answered the questions “How do Civilizations develop and interact? and How does my character perceive history?” by assembling important elements of their fantasy civilizations in a multimedia museum.

In US History, students participated in one of four workshops with guest speakers from the criminal justice system, asking our guests and ourselves if everyone receives equal protection under the law:
  • Bail – what is bail, access to bail for people, criteria for setting bail, implications of not making bail
  • Sentencing/Mandatory Minimums – factors that influence sentencing (race, gender, appearance, type of crime)
  • Parole/Recidivism – supports for people on parole, integration into society, rights of people on parole
  • School-to-Prison Pipeline – what is it? Who does it impact? Origins?

Students then worked on their final products for oral presentation (giving a speech as a politician advocating a specific position, making a presentation (Power Point or Presi), putting on a skit that demonstrates a specific issue relating to your topic, or writing and performing a song/rap that explains the issue and how it is affecting the community.


In Government, students visited either UPROSE (a social service organization in Sunset Park) or the Jacob Riis “Revealing New York’s Other Half” exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.

At the museum, students studied the influence and impact of Jacob Riis’ photojournalism and social activism for immigrants living in New York’s Lower, compared and contrasted the Jacob Riis Exhibit with the Gilded Age Exhibit showing key differences between the ways the wealthy and poor lived during the turn of the 19th century, and evaluated the changes that were made to improve the lives of poor immigrants as a result of Jacob Riis’ work and compared that to the ways the poor are assisted today.

At UPROSE, students explored the question: In what ways do community organizations support local communities?  Students received a tour of the facility and a presentation by our hosts to help students understand the purpose of UPROSE by evaluating the services and supports provided by the organization.  Students learned the differences between private and public funding as it relates to the operations of community organizations.  Moreover, students began to construct their own post-secondary civic engagement plan using UPROSE as an example of how they can fight for certain causes and injustices in society.


As a special add on to today’s ET, a select group of students went on an ET to the Etsy headquarters where they toured the office and worked on a day-long project with one of the Etsy artists and Jill, our art teacher.  This is one of the many ways in which Brooklyn Collaborative helps students experience unique opportunities in our amazing city.


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