King Lower School students this fall broadened their perspectives by engaging in a number of virtual field trips, conversations, and observations. Experiential learning provides authentic learning experiences for King Lower School students. Head of Lower School Dr. Sandy Lizaire-Duff explains, "Children learn best by doing, which in turn makes the learning personal and more meaningful. It's also a lot easier for the students to grasp the concepts and retain the information, because they have interacted with it. Research shows experiential learning teaches students not to fear mistakes, but rather to embrace and value their mistakes. The research also indicates that experiential learning bolsters critical thinking and self-assessment skills."
Grade 2 students research whale sharks and landforms
Grade 2 students virtually explored the Georgia Aquarium. They have been researching sharks as part of the science curriculum unit on the Long Island Sound. What better way to learn about estuaries than by seeing some up close! Students were amazed when they saw the different species of sharks and rays in the aquarium's 6 million gallon tank. The biggest thrill was the whale sharks! Did you know whale sharks are not whales but instead are the world's largest fish, can grow to be about 39 feet long, and can live to be 100 years old?
As our Grade 2 students also researched landforms of Connecticut and discussed caves, they were curious to learn about caves from around the world. The students decided to take a virtual field trip to the largest cave in the world, Son Doong in Vietnam. Using their iPads, the students explored the cave and listened to the sounds of this amazing landform. Did you know that you can hear wind, water dripping, birds, and even a river running?
Students in Grade 3 speak with authors, scientists, and artists
Grade 3 students have been quite busy Zooming with authors, scientists, and artists. They Zoomed with award-winning author and illustrator Grace Lin. The students questioned Ms. Lin about her book, The Year of the Dog, and about her life. The students also took a virtual field trip to learn about puppetry from the Center of Puppetry in Atlanta, GA.
Grade 4 students appreciate the significance of Diwali and explore mammals at the Museum of Natural History
In November, on the eve of Diwali, our Grade 4 students Zoomed with the Kumar family from Delhi, India. The Kumars shared the significance of Diwali, the five-day Festival of Lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains, and explained how they celebrate the holiday as a family and community. The students appreciated the customs and traditions of celebrating Diwali and how the pandemic has limited people's ability to gather this year. Our students eagerly posed many questions and the Kumars enthusiastically answered them all!
Grade 4 students also used Google Arts and Culture to explore the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals at the Museum of Natural History. Students identified particular mammals in the exhibits and shared their new understandings as they discussed the relationship between the environments and the adaptations they observed in the animal dioramas.
King School's Strategic Plan 2020-2025 embraces experiential learning as a fundamental component of the student experience and of King's bold vision to be the country's premier PreK-12 research-driven institution in which students embrace open minds and courageous thinking.