ESD Lower School Celebrates Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics with Comprehensive Projects

In honor of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Lower School students, faculty, and staff participated in a special chapel service on Monday, February 10, to honor the countries and athletes competing in the 22nd winter games. This decades-long tradition at the Lower School was especially memorable this year, as two former Olympians attended the event to share their experiences with the students, and show off some of their Olympic memorabilia.
This year, additional academic activities were made possible, in part, by an ESD Learning Innovation Grant that encourages and supports initiatives that blend wellness and physical activity with culture and education. Earlier in the year, students and teachers started brainstorming ideas that dovetailed their curricular goals, including historical and cultural research, sports statistics, and forming global connections.
The integration of history, culture, and wellness surrounding the Olympics Games and the participating countries has been a staple of the Lower School curriculum for decades. This year’s study also promotes science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Through ESD faculty collaboration with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, math- and science-based hands-on learning and research projects are interwoven.
In Physical Education classes, third and fourth grade students joined together as “countries” to create flags, make team uniforms, and engineer their own equipment, while also training for makeshift competitions that include modified biathlons, cross country skiing, bobsledding, hockey, and figure skating.
“One division-wide curricular goal in this study is to ensure that students understand they are enmeshed in a world of global relationships,” Chelle Wabrek, Assistant Head of Lower School said. “In an effort to examine this inter-relational web, families have helped bring the location of the games to life, including sharing cultural items from trips to Russia, as well as folklore, food, and

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