In addition to FVAM’s history curriculum, each year the history classes approach the subject of history in an expanded way. FVAM uses history classes to immerse students bringing history alive for them and extend their understanding of historical events. Below is a few examples of history enhancements at FVAM:
Mystery History – To celebrate Halloween, students choose a person of historical significance. They then research background information, and if they choose, create a costume to to resemble their historical person. On the designated day close to Halloween, the students come to school prepared to give clues to other students. Students will try to guess who they are portraying.
We Scare Hunger – Building on the Halloween theme, students at FVAM do their part to help end hunger, one can and one Trick-Or-Treat at a time by participating in a Halloween program called “We Scare Hunger”. This is a program created by the organization “Free The Children” and is designed for students to help end world hunger by collecting food donations during Halloween outings. Instead of traditional trick or treating for candy, the students trick or treat for non-perishable food items. They also hold food drives in their towns gathering non-perishables food and deliver to St. Vincent’s De Paul Food Bank in Waterbury, Connecticut, or an organization determined to be the most in need at this particular time of year. FVAM families send in their extra Halloween candy to school where it is collected and donated to the Veterans Administration hospital in Newington, CT.
D.A.R. - Each year, the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) sponsor an American history essay contest established to encourage young people to think creatively about our nation's great history and learn history in a new light. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness. Participating chapters send one winning essay from each grade for judging at their state level. Each state sends one winning essay to be judged on a divisional level. From there, the winning essay from each grade is judged on the national level.
Each student participant receives a certificate of participation from the chapter and the chapter winners receive bronze medals, certificates and Bonds. State winners receive certificates and silver medals. A certificate, gold pin and monetary award is presented to each national winner at the Continental Congress. FVAM is proud to have had winners at both the local and state levels each of the past four years and in 2015 had one student earn third place at the national level.
“Hands On” Historical Events – In each grade level, students work on a variety of projects that allow them to use their imagination and creativity to gain a higher level of understanding of the subject they are studying. The following are a few examples used in the 6th Grade section of “Ancient Greece”:
1) Create a Real Estate Ad - Read the section in the textbook on how the people of ancient Greece lived their daily lives. Then, create a real estate ad in which you describe a house that is for sale. Include a catchy title for the house, a descriptive and concise written description, a picture of the house, and as an added bonus, a floor plan. The house should also include a list of amenities, or bonus features that make the house appealing to a buyer. The price of your house should be “Best Offer.”
2) Create a menu for a banquet - Read the section in our textbook on Greek banquets. Create a menu listing the foods one would eat at a banquet; be sure to include a written description of some of these exotic foods, and you can also include any pictures of some of the foods you will be eating.
3) Greek “Sports Illustrated” - Create your own “Sports Illustrated” type of story. Include an article reporting on the Olympic Games. Include a picture or two and fake interviews of the athletes. Attach your article and pictures to a fake Greek “Sports Illustrated” cover. Do some research to see how a real “Sports Illustrated” is set up. Remember to include captions under the pictures.
MMUN – All sixth, seventh and eighth grade students participate in an annual four day Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) conference in New York City. They are joined by thousands of other Montessori students from around the world to participate in a series of conference workshops. The conference is designed by the United Nations (UN) to have students assist with real-world problems. In preparation, each Montessori school is assigned a country by the MMUN to represent as delegates of the country. FVAM students spend several weeks researching the political, economic and cultural backgrounds of their assigned nation and speak from the perspective of a delegate from that nation. After two days of in-depth committee conferences, all delegates meet in the UN General Assembly Building to vote on their resolutions, just as their official adult counterparts from around the world do. The issues students are assigned include problems with Human Rights on the Internet, Childhood Obesity, Nuclear Security, HIV, and many others. All student delegates practice and use the official decorum of the United Nations and vote on each resolution using the same methods as world leaders do. Guest speakers at the UN include Judith Cunningham, Executive Director of the Montessori Model United Nations, Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute and Senior Advisor of the American Bar Association and Jack Brewer, former Captain of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings and now a successful businessman, philanthropist and promoter of Montessori education. While in New York City, the FVAM students take time out from their busy schedule to enjoy a dinner in Times Square and attend a Broadway musical.
For more information, visit http://montessori-mun.org/