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Upper Grades Expeditionary Thursday 10/13 – Social Studies – A Wonderful Day of Learning!


The Upper Grades students had a wonderful Expeditionary Thursday on Thurs 10/13, connected to their Social Studies classes.  Check out our students and staff learning through fieldwork!
In Big History 2 (Grade 10) fieldwork, students traveled beginning at 6AM to Rutland, Massachusetts to participate in the Seeds program at the Heifer International Farm which is an introduction to what sustainable farming looks like in the nine regions of the world. It is an experiential program where student milked goats, harvested food and cooked a meal with the ingredients and methods of the region they focused on.  After students experienced their region for the day, they debriefed with their peers and shared out comparisons and contrasts between their regions of focus.  They will also talked with experts on the farm about concepts of development and the fragile food cycles around the world.  This fieldwork was linked to Big History essential questions: “Why is agriculture so important?  Where and why did the first cities and states appear? and the Foraging VS. Farming Debate”

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In Participation in Government (Grade 12) fieldwork, students worked in different groups to talk to experts around the city about polls and politics.  Students first heard from guest speaker James Hazzard, the father of polling data from Greenberg Rosner Research (and thanked him with a Brooklyn Collaborative t-shirt!).  Then one group visited the New-York Historical Society to meet a curator and tour the presidential election material history exhibit.  Another group participated in a tour of the city council chambers to witness a session, meet council members, and hear their presidential endorsements.  Lastly, a third group visited with State Assemblymember Felix Ortiz to discuss his thoughts on the presidential election.  Back in class, representatives from each group shared their data to enhance everyone’s understanding of how different politicians navigate politics in an election year.

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In Grade 11 (US History), students participated in a day-long session about the electoral college process, including a Building Background Knowledge BBK workshop on the Bush/Gore 2000 Election and read through historical articles and infographics on voter laws and trends in terms of access (or denied access) to voting in the US and internationally. Students then discussed the merits of our American voting system and what they would change and why if they were empowered to do so.  Students ended the day by looking at “mock election” results gathered from all BCS students in Grades 6-12 in a pre-ET schoolwide survey and justified why their proposed voting system is better than the current model.
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In Big History 1 (Grade 9) fieldwork, students gathered evidence at the American Museum of Natural History to create an original chart explaining the concept of “scale” and how scale helps us understand history.  Students focused on the learning target: “I can analyze how different scales of time and space influence my understanding of history.”  Students viewed video Powers of Ten and focused their fieldwork on the Universe, Earth, Dinosaur, and Human Evolution galleries in the museum.
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