Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 23

Friday, May 23, is a big day at Summers-Knoll. We will have Reflections Night here at school instead of over at Allen Elementary. Personally, I love this change: Reflections is a means of seeing where our children have been and what they have achieved as artists and performers over the course of the year. Josh, Tracy and Monica are cooking up great plans for the event's layout and format.

For the sixth, seventh and eighth graders, May 23 will also be a Project Day and a Hosting Day as well. At 2:00 on the afternoon of May 23, each of the six Mythology Circles will be showing off projects in the upstairs domain.

Brazil's mythologists, facilitated by Nico, are focusing on the crucial importance of futebol to that nation's identity. Specifically, they will show a project that engages the coming World Cup in that country--specifically, the 'lost Final' of 1950, and the controversies about spending $18,000,000,000 on the tournament, in a nation where millions live in poverty. Margaret and Jonathan are also working on this project.

Ghana's storytellers, led by Isobel, will present a play based on the legends of Anansi the Spider, the trickster hero of West African myths. The play was written for, and will be performed by, students in Val's kindergarten class. Kaeli and Trent are Isobel's partners in this endeavor.

Britain's defenders, led by Jianmarco, will also produce a play. Theirs will explore the story of King Arthur. They have adapted a young-adult script of the Sword in the Stone into a modern setting. Lee and Lily are the other planners, writers, and participants in this project.

China's student sinologists, under Mike's leadership, are creating a board game with echoes of Risk. The playing surface is a map of China during one era of the Warring States. The objective is to win control of all twelve: Yan, Zhao, Zhou, Qi, Qin, Chu, Shu, Lu, Song, Han, Wei, and Zongshan.
Karenna and Denali are also working on this project.

Australia's anthropologists, led by Maya, are looking at Aboriginal concepts surrounding Dreamtime, the mythical primordial state when the world was soft and unformed. Their project will engage this belief through various forms of art, a central aspect of Aboriginal worship. Matthew and Saul are also engaged in this work.

Mesoamerica's historians, facilitated by Aristea, are creating a card game modelled after Fluxx and named after Xquic (pronounced Shkeek), the Eve of the Mayan creation myth. The game will comprise forty original cards, designed by the students, covering four distinct elements of early Mesoamerican civilization. Nik and Ryan are the other artists and designers.

It is a Hosting Day because we will be welcoming a dozen students and faculty members from the Friends School in Detroit as part of our Detroit Project exchanges. Middle schoolers from Friends will spend some time in a facilitated conversation with their compatriots, touring the school, and viewing the Mythology Projects before heading back into the city at 4:00.

Lastly, it is an Exhibition Day for six of the seventh graders. They will be introducing each of the Mythology Projects as well as reading aloud from their writing on the subject. This will comprise their final Exhibition. More to come, in a new post, on Exhibitions for the remaining students.

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