Science and Social Studies are taught through our Learning Through Music expeditions, which merge the principles of Expeditionary Learning with our commitment to infuse the joy and discipline of musical experience to enrich all aspects of student’s learning. We have aligned the topics of our expeditions with the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks for Science and Technology/Engineering and History and Social Science.
Three learning expeditions per year engage students in interdisciplinary, project-based investigations that require students to think both critically and creatively, achieve academically, and produce high-quality work.
In science expeditions, students learn to think like scientists—they make predictions, form hypotheses and design experiments to test their ideas. Students learn to analyze their data, think flexibly, and draw conclusions. Explicit connections between scientific processes and creative processes (listening, questioning, creating, performing, and reflecting) spark imagination and deepen students’ understanding of both learning modalities.
In social studies expeditions, students learn to think like historians—they look at the past through multiple perspectives, think critically about source materials, and make connections that help them understand how the past has shaped our lives today. Boston, with its rich history, becomes students’ extended classroom.
In both Science and Social Studies, students work with expert professionals in the field of study and venture outside the school to conduct fieldwork at museums, nature centers, historical sites, parks, and local businesses. Fieldwork gives children the opportunity to explore subjects more deeply, work with experts, ask questions, conduct research, and explore new ways to gain knowledge from the world around us. A hydrogeologist accompanies third graders to the banks of the Charles River to help analyze its water quality by testing temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and pH. A magazine editor works with kindergartners to make content and layout decisions for a multi-genre children’s food magazine that they donate to a community bakery. Fifth graders do extensive fieldwork on Boston’s Freedom Trail and produce a power point presentation for an educational blog. Creating for real audiences motivates students to work to their fullest potential and produce enduring, high-quality products.