One key part of Morgan Park Academy’s global curriculum is a school-wide Global Week each March. Upper School and Middle School students and teachers come together outside the classroom to share a broader range of learning experiences focused on language and culture, service, and sustainability. Lower School students explore the world’s countries and cultures closer to home.
This year’s experiences included trips to Greece and Italy, Costa Rica, New Orleans, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and a Wisconsin nature center; and local explorations of theater, French culture, and Chicago history from March 20-24, 2023.
Greece & Italy
Students explored the history of Chicago, from the river walk to the 103rd floor of the Willis tower, trekking (and busing) high and low to engage with the fascinating and storied history of the Windy City. Other activities included exploring Millennium Park, Navy Pier, world famous museums and of course eating the classic Chicago hot dog.
Making a Play
Students spent the week at the Beverly Arts Center with a mission to mount a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in five days. It was a daunting task, but the students worked hard and not only had fun but also had the opportunity to learn about the many aspects of putting on a play. They took acting classes, dance classes, and learned how to build and paint sets before performing a fun and hilarious Shakespearean comedy for family and friends on Friday afternoon.
French Culture in Chicago
Eighth Grade – Washington, D.C.
In line with our Middle School curriculum, students visited the significant historical sites of our nation’s capital and considered the role of an American citizen in an ever-changing global world and how they, too, can effect change for our country. Sites of interest included memorials, the U.S. Holocaust Museum, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, all framed within the greater context of our nation’s history, both those things that have demonstrated progress and those areas where there is still much work to be done. For the first time, our trip included a day trip to Gettysburg and participation in the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
Seventh Grade – Missouri
Students traveled to the Show Me State to learn more about American history. In St. Louis, they visited museums, the basilica, and the world-famous St. Louis Zoo. No visit to St. Louis would be complete without a trip up the Arch with a bird’s-eye view of the West. In Hannibal, they explored the life of Mark Twain. This included a ghost tour and a visit to the cave where Twain and his friend used to play. The seventh-graders will be able to apply their new knowledge to their American History unit next fall.
Sixth Grade – Nature’s Classroom Institute, Wisconsin
Students immersed themselves in the natural environment for ecosystem exploration and study, working together with their peers and learning about their role as a citizen of the earth from an environmental point of view.
Students traveled the world virtually, starting with individual research on a country of their choice. Each student created a presentation that incorporated the five themes of geography. The fifth-graders showed their creativity by creating a post that displayed the flag of their country, a sign with the country’s name on it, a (3D print out/ Laser print out) of the outline of their country, and an arrow that displayed the current population of that country. Each post was painted with colors that represented the country. On Wednesday, students had the opportunity to cook in the makerspace and made baked macaroni and assembled wraps. They learned how to make layered macaroni and assembled a variety of lunch wraps. On Thursday the students took a trip to Chinatown and had a guided walking tour before enjoying a yummy meal. On Friday, as the week came to an end, the fifth grade class paraded through the halls to share their hard work with the rest of the Lower School.
Fourth Grade: Czech Republic & Japan
Third Grade: China & Germany
Second Grade: Greece & Fiji
First Grade: Australia, England & Madagascar
Kindergarten: Brazil, Sweden, and the Philippines
We climbed the Austrian Alps, learned how to yodel, decorated shape crowns and colored shields with our favorite things. We listened to fairy tales and incorporated them into our play, building castles, counting Jack’s beans, writing letters with wands, and measuring Rapunzel’s hair. We also learned about the German language and incorporated it into our Morning Meeting routine. On Friday, students dressed up as princes, princesses, and even a dragon for our royal ball, where we sat at a long table to eat delicious apple strudel, pretzels and fruit kabobs. What a fun week!