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What We Learned: Lunas

This year we learned about....

  • Hopes and Dreams
  • Letters to Standing Rock
  • Glossary of Nonviolence
  • Arawak book
  • Columbus Day studies of Arawak people
  • History with Howard Zinn
  • Native Foods
  • Cooking: green chile-corn pudding, maple-whipped sweet potatoes, greens: collards, spinach, water cress, spiced black-eyed peas and sweet potatoes, boiled maple syrup
  • Evaporation
  • Grains
  • Herpetology

  • Species profiles and poster presentations on five-lined skink, spring peeper, green snake, eastern box turtle, green frog, rattlesnake, hellbender
  • Coyote School: tree identification, choosing a tree, tree sketches (leaves, bark, silhouette), stream explorations (salamanders)
  • Berlese funnel
  • Microscopes
  • “The Hermit’s Story” by Rick Bass
  • “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving
  • Spelling and Vocabulary
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
  • September and October Almanacs
  • Aldo Leopold’s “A Sand County Almanac”
  • Nature sketches, nature journaling, and insects from Suzanne Stryk

  • Writing poetry: pantoums, aubades, haikus, rhyming couplets, Herpepoetry, persona poems, shape poems
  • Reading poetry
  • National Poetry Month
  • Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day
  • Rhythm, meter, voice in poetry
  • “The Raven” and Halloween poetry
  • “The Complete Misanthropist”
  • Memorized and performed ballads: “The Elfin Knight,” “Scarborough Fair,” “Bonnie Barbara Allen,” “The Mermaid,” “The Gardener”
  • Students Teaching
  • Films: Metropolis (German Expressionism), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (German Expressionism), Gandhi (biography film), How Plants Think and Communicate (science and nature), Spirited Away
  • Caligari film drawings
  • Creating self-portraits for heritage project
  • Ornithology from ornithologists from VA Tech
  • Bottom Creek Gorge: saw 200-foot high waterfalls, “The Kettles,” virgin hemlocks
  • Buffalo Mountain: saw the rare plant three-toothed cinquefoil, climbed mountain

  • Octopus Week: poems, videos, article “Deep Intellect”
  • The water cycle
  • Sylvia Earle speech about the oceans
  • Prochlorococcus
  • Our connection to the ocean
  • Making watercolor greeting cards
  • Multiplication tables
  • Sequences
  • Long division
  • Fractions
  • Ekphrasis for the artworks of Mark Rothko, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, M.C. Escher, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Henri Rousseau
  • Singing with the Golden Black Koalas and Kari
  • Holding a fundraiser at the Farmer’s Market
  • Making origami cranes and peace crane strings

And we celebrated...

  • Christmas and Winter: snow cones, Rudoloph, popcorn, snacks, Secret Santa
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Day: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “I Have a Dream Speech” and writing our own “I Have a Dream” speeches
  • Give Big Day: volunteered, work day, tree hugging
  • Special Person’s Tea: made chocolate-covered strawberries, made tea, served guests, performed “I Like You as You Are"
  • International Women’s Day: “A Day Without a Woman”… (we were in the newspaper!)


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