Capstone Year Expeditions

6th Grade – Year long hot topic: Bridges and Barriers

Life Along the Wall

Fall 2017-2018, Sixth Grade

Throughout history, humans have built walls. Walls can defend – or segregate – depending on their intention and perception. Sixth grade’s fall expedition was designed to look at how walls have conceptually kept people apart and how they are used to define or reinforce identity. They started with the first communities and the rise of social roles and class before examining walls in the Classical Era. Following an exploration of walls across the globe and throughout history, students turned their attention to the barriers that exist in our own community and critically examined data and demographics to spark a conversation about next steps for building bridges and breaking down barriers in Rochester.

Whose Renaissance Is It?

Winter 2017-2018, Sixth Grade

Keeping with the year-long theme of Bridges and Barriers, the winter expedition focused on identity – helping students understand and embrace the complicated, multiple, and unique identities that describe who they are. Only through this work can sixth-graders go on to understand and empathize with their classmates and with the members of our community at large. Investigations around race and class gave students the tools to understand how disproportionate equity and opportunity are within our city. Students examined their own identities with the intention of better understanding each other and the world around them. Students spent the latter half of the winter expedition working with local artists and storytellers, interviewing and collecting stories from people across the city to better understand their struggle to succeed and their hopes for our city’s renaissance. Sixth-graders shared their experiences through monologues and poetry that captured the ideals and reality of Rochester’s renewal.

Whose Renaissance Is It? (Part II)

Spring 2017-2018, Sixth Grade

As their year of investigating Bridges and Barriers came to a close, the sixth grade class of 2018 had the opportunity to leave a permanent mark on their community through collaboration and service. The class kicked off the expedition by speaking with experts from Rochester who have a stake in the equitable redevelopment of our city to get a sense of what it has accomplished – so far – and what still needs improvement. The Four Cities trip provided answers to the class’s guiding questions and best practices in community equity, youth engagement, and mural programs. Students began to synthesize their findings to share with Rochester experts and local audiences through a publication that chronicles Rochester’s Renaissance. Finally, the Better World Project gave rise to four murals in the city that reflect the unique identity of Rochester’s neighborhoods and history.

Whose Renaissance is It? (Part II)

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