Academics: Spotlight on Middle School Cross-curricular Units
Updated: May 19, 2020
The Middle School spent time this year integrating cross-curricular units: a few units around a similar theme in each of the classes within each grade level. This is an approach to study that requires critical thinking and involves making connections from one class to the other which solidified the students' understanding of the relationships between topics and the reasons we study them.
The Grade 6 students studied constellations in their classes as they learned French words, the History of constellations, their origins, and how the different ancient civilizations used the constellations in their daily life. They focused particularly on how all around the world and throughout history we have been looking at the same night sky; however, historical, cultural, and geographical factors have significantly influenced interpretations and the use of it. In English classes, they read a few different constellation stories from different groups, including the Mi'kmaq story of "Muin and the Seven Bird Hunters." They also discussed common components of constellation stories, and then wrote a story of their own to accompany the constellation they created in math class.
The Grade 7 students spent a week in December studying the topic of climate change and how we can make a better future through the lens of each subject. In math class, they used global warming statistics to chart earth temperatures from 1880-2016. In art class, they created a similar panting to Jackie Traverse’s image of the water tree. After the unit was over, the painting was sold at the school auction. In science class, they studied ocean currents and how the currents are changing based on higher water temperatures. Furthermore, in English class, students sat around the fire and used ancient Mi'kmaw stories to see how Mi'kmaw cultural values can help solve new climate challenges. The unit culminated in a fitness decathlon that required students to answer questions from class time to earn competition opportunities in gym class in an effort to save their part of the ocean before time ran out. Click here to watch!
The Grade 8 students studied African Nova Scotian heritage. Using the National Film Board of Canada, students presented and wrote poetry on Viola Desmond's influences in their English and history classes. They also studied the contribution and tragedies of Africville. Finally, using the periodic table in science, they discussed the relationship of elements in contamination in Africville.