Various capstone projects are enjoyed each year; in particular, our Early Childhood production of The Nutcracker and a Biome Museum for all Lower School grades are among our most beloved. These projects bring together work from across subject areas and grade levels, with students taking on greater leadership each year.
All our Early Childhood students appear in The Nutcracker each winter. Kindergarten students lead the project, writing and illustrating the story that will unfold on the stage and narrating the actual production. As part of their preparation, the kindergarten students read and hear different versions of The Nutcracker in class, learn the music and travel to see the ballet.
After seeing different interpretations of the tale, the students create a book of their own, which stands nearly two feet high and is used during the performance. A rite of passage for our kindergarten students, each year the class brings its unique personality and flair to the time-honored tradition.
Our Lower School complements the developmental strengths of young learners, giving form to their innate desire to explore and discover the world around them.
The annual Biome Museum marks the culmination of weeks of cross-curricular activities focused on a specific ecological environment, such as ocean, desert, and grassland. By bringing together their work in art, computers, library, music, research, science, and world languages, students are challenged to think creatively about how to best present information through displays, drawings, maps, writing, voice, and video. In addition, students learn to link and cross-reference information, creating iPad-guided tours of the museum and interspersing QR codes that link to resources for further learning throughout the exhibits. Every child is involved; the older students tackle research and create large-scale interactive exhibits, and the younger students contribute specific project elements. When parents tour the museum, fourth-grade students serve as docents, explaining the wealth of information included in the eye-catching displays.