Middle School

Fifth Graders Lead Simulation of Lewis & Clark Expedition

Country School fifth graders invited parents, teachers and younger students to an experiential simulation of the Lewis & Clark Expedition on Feb. 15 as a culmination of their social studies unit. The students created an array of hand-made visual displays, short speeches and essays to showcase the Corps of Discovery Expedition. Visitors were invited to follow the trail of tables sequenced in a loose timeline across the floor of the main gym in the school’s Athletics & Wellness Center to represent the expedition across the newly acquired western portion of the country after the Louisiana Purchase, and explore important stops along the way. 
“Going into this project, I knew the basic things about Thomas Jefferson, for example, that he had been a founding father of democracy and of our country, and was one of the people who drafted the constitution of the United States; and that he served as president for eight years. I was surprised to learn that he was also a great advocate for education and built a bunch of schools for people including Indian Hall, a classroom he built on his Monticello estate,” explained fifth-grader Cali Locke Youngman, who created a diorama of the classroom’s interior, as well as a copy of the Constitution. “He was also very motivational and inspirational to people. Following the Louisiana Purchase, he encouraged everyone to go West and make their homes. He published all of Lewis and Clark’s journals and scientific data so that this research could reach a much wider audience. All of this made people want to learn more about the West and many people were motivated to go out there.” 
“This is the perfect opportunity to integrate our social studies, reading and writing curricula, while also celebrating students’ creativity,” said Grade 5 Teacher Andrew Bevan, who together with Grade 5 Teachers Wendy Root and Fay Venetsanos, and Apprentice Teachers Brooke Heston, Katie Gallagher and Alexa Leon, led their classes through the unit. “Witnessing the students’ excitement as they share their knowledge and projects with visitors makes all their hard work worthwhile.”

For more photos: Smug Mug.

New Canaan Country School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin and are afforded all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid policies or any other school-administered programs.