EXTENDED STUDY WEEK: Middle School

Extended Study Week (ESW) is a week in Spring when regular Prep classes are suspended in order for students to experience a week of intensive educational exploration, both on and off campus, culminating in an ESW presentation night.

In the Spring of 2017, middle school students enjoyed these ESW opportunities:

Grade 6: Chesapeake Bay Environment and History

How has history impacted the bay? How has the bay impacted history?

Connecting science and their learning of American culture in Humanities, Grade 6 students will engage in field investigations, which will incorporate some or all of the following topics:

  • History and folklore of the Chesapeake Bay
  • Underwater grasses
  • Crabbing, fishing, and oystering
  • Salt marsh explorations
  • Field journals and naturalist views
  • Weather watch

Students stayed two nights and three days at the newly renovated Karen Noonan Center in Bishops Head, MD.

“I loved going into the marsh and learning about the different varieties of bugs.”

-- Wathon M.

“Our ESW not only allowed us to connect more as a grade but we also learned about the different animals that are important to the food chain of the Chesapeake Bay and some history about the fishing techniques used.”

-- Lilianne K.


Sixth graders separate oyster eggs.

“I liked learning about oysters, how they’re fished, and how they filter the water to make it less polluted.”

-- Nia F.

Grades 7-8: Sculpture Gardens

Theme: Respect for Self and Others

How do artists create monuments and memorials sculptures for a specific time, place, and topic?

Students will visit different sculpture gardens in Washington DC, Baltimore MD, and Trenton NJ. Through various workshops they will learn about modern and traditional sculpture subjects and techniques. They will sketch, photograph, and create miniature sculptures at each location. For their final project, students will work in pairs or small groups to design their own sculpture garden somewhere on Barrie campus, inspired by the places they visited and their own imaginations. It will be made by curating their sketches and miniature sculptures from the workshops to create a model, map, or virtual experience.


Grades: 7-8: In the Footsteps of History: American Civil Rights
Theme: Respect for Self and Others

Why did people risk their lives to stand up for civil rights? How did they do it?

The American Civil Rights ESW draws on the grade 7 theme of “Respect for Self” and the grade 8 theme of “Respect for Others”. Students will visit the memorials, museums, battlegrounds, and historical places that tell key parts of the story of America’s continuing struggle for freedom and justice for all of its citizens. During travel to the Deep South, students will have an opportunity to interact with people who took part in some of the historical events that we study. Students will begin in Washington, DC for the first three days. We will then fly to Atlanta, GA and travel through the Alabama towns of Montgomery and Selma by bus before returning home. We will be working with the award-winning Sojourn Project (http://sojournproject.com); Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the Little Rock Nine, is tentatively slated to join us on the program.


Grades: 7-8 Stop the Presses

Theme: Respect for Self, Respect for Others

What ethical principles guide journalists as they work, and how do ethics impact the ways in which certain topics are covered?

“Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws” (Douglas Adams). With each new innovation in technology and social media, this claim is truer than ever, forcing journalists to reconsider their own ethical responsibilities and obligations when they cover “bad news.” Decisions must be made about what can and what should become part of the news. In this ESW, students will explore the history of news media, including the ethics of journalism and the controversies journalists face when covering major catastrophes. Moreover, this ESW will serve as an introduction to the basics of running an online newspaper, with students ultimately creating their own, and reporting on local events and other ESWs.

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