At WNS, students engage in research in a variety of ways. Field trips, where students have the opportunity to engage with the greater New York City community, are an important aspect of that research. Teachers prepare students for trips by cultivating higher-level thinking questions that they can ask and answer over the course of the trip. Students will often engage in scavenger hunts or interviews during the trip, recording information that they can then bring back to the classroom for discussion and analysis. Our K-5 students take numerous field trips over the course of the year to visit historical sites, interact with the artistic community, and explore scientific concepts through hands-on experiences. Here’s a sampling of this year’s adventures so far:
PreK students stay a bit closer to home, enjoying walking trips to neighborhood destinations, but all students PreK-5 enjoy a Broadway show at the New Victory Theater.
This spring, Kindergarteners and Grade 1 students will travel together to the Queens County Farm Museum. It’s especially gratifying when two different classes, with two different projects, can enjoy a trip together and learn so much. Kindergarteners will be focusing on the farm as a system to support their study of the school community as a system, and first graders will look at planting and crop management to help answer the question, “How does our neighborhood community get food?”
Grade 2 researchers have been all over the place this year – Staten Island, The Highline, Waterloo Village – all in search of an answer to their question, “How does our city community function, both past and present?”
Here they are with our Highline Educator, Karen, learning about native and non-native plants in the New York City area.
3rd Graders have made several trips to city parks to meet up with a specialist on outdoor survival. Through their work together, they have studied the engineering of early man-made structures and learned how people around the world have historically met their basic needs of food, water and especially shelter.
4th and 5th Graders investigate several historical groups of the New York City area, primarily the Lenape and the Dutch. In the fall, they visited Waterloo Village with Grade 2 to learn more about the Lenape people. This spring, they traveled to East Flatbush, site of the restored home of Pieter Wyckoff, an immigrant who arrived in our geographic area as an indentured servant and gradually rose to become one of the wealthiest landowners in what was then known as New Netherlands. Students investigated a variety of artifacts, looking at them through a technological lens and comparing the innovations of Pieter’s time to those of today.
Living in New York City also affords us the opportunity to visit art museums and artists’ studios throughout the year. Here the 3rd graders pose on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This trip focused on masks and students drew inspiration from their experience to make their own masks back in the art studio.