A Powerful and Intimate Conversation Between ISB 5th Graders and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez

Each year, as part of the Civic Symbols and Constitutions unit of inquiry, the 5th Grade class sets off to Washington, D.C. to further understand how our the Constitution and other political documents are used to govern the country and to explore the ways that monuments and civic symbols express the common values of our society. While field trips have been put on pause during the pandemic, the class has been enjoying virtual field trips and meetings with special visitors as they learn more about the United States government. Last week, the 5th Graders were very fortunate to have a virtual visit from Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, New York’s 7th Congressional district representative, which includes their own school community in Carroll Gardens as well as several other surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods.

La Tierra en Movimiento

The 5th Grade “Moving Earth” unit encompasses Earth’s changes and how those changes can affect our lives. No one could have predicted that students would be exploring this unit while living through a historic pandemic, but the current context gave students a deeper connection to their studies and a very real lens through which to develop inquisitive questions. Students launched the unit by investigating the Earth’s changes and the human response. To explore this, Spanish 5th Graders interviewed people who have lived through various disasters from all around the world.

Lower School Service Learning Initiative: Taking Action

Inspired by the annual Endangered Species Day held on May 15th, Lower School students have been taking action to protect and support the environment. Second Graders have been learning about Endangered Species in their classes and in response to this day, the entire Lower School was invited to participate in creating their own action. Science Teacher Alicia Smith shares, “Taking action is very important. It is powerful for students to understand that anything is possible and that their actions, both big and small, can be meaningful and have a real impact. I want to give students the opportunity to create their own actions and follow where their talents want to take them.”