Anser Junior High – Celebration of Learning Night
Story. Human. Home. These are the words guiding 7th and 8th-grade students at Anser Charter School through their EL Education (EL) curriculum this year.
A large component of EL is the engagement of families and communities in the learning process, which is why Garden City’s mayor, John Evans, helped kick off Celebration of Learning Night; the culmination of many months of labor and learning for these students.
Students and their families gathered at the school on a Wednesday evening to celebrate food, and all the ways it impacts our stories and homes.
Using The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan as an anchor text, students began exploring the questions guiding their expedition: What is the story of our food? Does food make us human? Are we really what we eat?
The answers to these questions were considered through many educational lenses; Science, Art, ELA, and Spanish, weaving concepts together to create a narrative for deeper learning.
The science component of this project had students dive deep into agriculture, food production, sustainable farming, and climate change. Through the creation of infographics, students presented food facts and figures from the book.
Displayed with the infographics were functional Art; clay bowls, made from coils, glazed and fired to a sheen, were lined up on display.
Through the ELA lens, each artist crafted an Artist’s Statement to accompany their vessel, in the form of a “Food Manifesto.” The pieces point to the bigger picture of what the bowls represent by examining beliefs, wisdom, and advice about our food culture.
As part of the celebration, students filled their newly-minted bowls and shared a meal with their community, comprised of food donated by local companies prepared by the students themselves in the school’s kitchen.
Finally, through their study of the Spanish language, students tackled a topic that has been brought front and center by November’s election: Immigration, migrant workers, working conditions, and their role in our country’s food supply.
Pride and confidence were evident in each student, as they shared their work with their family & peers; weaving their own stories of food, human, and home.