Natures Classroom – 5th Grade Adventure

Natures Classroom is a place where schools send kids for a week and they learn about topics that are not normally taught in school. Edible plants and hot air balloons, for example, and you do a lot of team building activities.

On the bus ride there, we watched Despicable Me. The bus ride was 1 hour 15 minutes till we arrived at Pond Side, one of two facilities at Natures Classroom, in Charlton, MA.   When we got there we received our luggage and found out who was in our cabin. In the cabins, where the boys stayed, there were 3, 4 or 5 people. The girls stayed in Center West which housed 2 wings of dorm rooms on either side of the cafeteria.

After breakfast we went to Field Group. Field Group is when you and 11 other kids go on a little hike and explore. Some of the things we did on Field Group was, visit one of the places the tornado hit. Or go to a waterfall and clean up the rocks so it flows better.

The food was great! But the bad thing was, between every meal, we didn’t have any food … no snacks! After Field Group and meals we would have transition time to fill up our water bottles and meet up with our friends.

We also played many games, such as, Screaming Toes, Camouflage, and one of our favorite games, Predator vs. Prey. At night, we had special activities, like Quite Sing and Thursday Night Live!

Not all students were able to attend Natures Classroom. There were about a dozen students who didn’t go to. They had their own ‘Natures Classroom’ at school.  Here’s their agenda.

Robotics Demonstration
Camouflage in Nature
Human Body Scavenger Hunt
Dissection of an Owl Pellet
Virtual Dissection of a frog

Going to Science Museum to see films and exibits

Masks of nature
sundial Bracelets
Microscopes/Insect Discoveries
Astronomy and Constellation Drawing

Earthquakes and Legends
Top Secret Mission
Compass Scavenger Hunt
Tent Ghost Stories (bring one if you dare!)
Egg Drop Competition
Performance of Masks of Nature
Bugle signaling another great year at Chickering Nature’s Classroom

Natures Classroom was a great experience! We hope that they will continue to send fifth graders on this adventure.  It might be nice, to include our sister-school, Pine Hill, in Sherborn.  That way we can begin to make friends with our, soon to be, sixth grade classmates in Middle School.

Reported by: Andrew F. , Lucy, and Griffin

American Revolution Heroes and Heroines

Every year, the 5th graders do a Wax Museum on The Revolutionary War. Everybody chooses a Revolutionary War hero or heroine to research.  With their notes, the students will write a script explaining how they (as the hero or heroine) affected events during The Revolutionary War. The students will become wax figures with a button which viewers can “push” to activate them and they will share information about their hero or heroine. This experience teaches kids of all ages at our school about the Revolutionary War and how ordinary people did extraordinary things.

In order for the fifth graders to prepare for writing their skit, they had an opportunity to get a sneak peak at the Wax Museum Rubric, which will be used to grade them. This helps fifth graders because the rubric addresses 3 main subjects, Content, Dialogue, and Performance. The rubric rating scale is from 1-4, 4 being the best. Below are the descriptions of the rating scale of 4 for each of the criteria.

Content – Demonstrates a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the topic and the person studied

Dialogue – Realistic, lively, appropriate, and engaging; focused on the essential questions

Performance – Convincing and self assured

Once they finish writing their script they have to memorize it and create a costume for their hero or heroine. Next they practice, practice, practice . . . .

On the day of the Wax museum, the students get dressed, pick up their “activation” button, and head down to the library which is now a wax museum. They then pick their spot and position themselves in their pose. Visitors to the museum travel from exhibit to exhibit listening to how these men and women did extraordinary things during the American Revolutionary War.



Here are a few heroes or heroines depicted at the wax museum

Some of the heroes

  • George Washington – Commander of the Colonial Army: First President of the United States of America
  • Benjamin Franklin – Patriot statesman; scientist; philosopher
  • Thomas Jefferson – Delegate to Continental Congress; drafted Declaration of Independence and more
  • John Adams – Delegate to Continental Congress; lawyer and more
  • Major General Henry Knox – Continental officer; hero; artillery expert
  • Paul Revere – American patriot; silversmith and engraver
  • Major General Nathanael Greene – Second in command to George Washington
  • Ethan Allen – Colonial of the Green Mountain Boys; Continental Army
  • Major John Andre – British solider: contact for Benedict Arnold

Some of the Heroines

  • Abigail Adams – Wife of John Adams; correspondent
  • Martha Washington – Wife of George Washington; First Lady
  • Lydia Darragh – American spy
  • Patience Wright – American spy

We hope you enjoy watching several hero’s of the Revolutionary War shown below.

Benjamin Franklin (a.k.a. Jude)

King George III (a.k.a. Jay)

Major General Henry Knox (a.k.a. Matt S.)

Reported by Jay, Matthew S., and Jude

Leon Mobley Returns!

Bop Pop Bop Pop Bop Ba Bop Bop Pop

If you walked into the Chickering School, on October 6, 2011,  that is what you would have heard coming from Leon Mobley and his Djembe drum springing from the gym. He is a former Metco student at Chickering School and now a world renowned musician. He is excited to share his love for West African drumming with the world. We were fortunate to interview him after the assembly. Please click on the podcast below to listen to the interview.

October 2011 interview with Leon Mobley

Mr. Mobley came back, in January 2012, with 2 friends to help him teach the students in grades 3, 4, and 5. Each third grade class learned with Mr. Mobley and our music teachers Ms Pappas and Mrs. Barry, a West African folk song. With one of Mr. Mobley’s friends, the fourth grade classes each learned a West African folk dance. While each of the 5th grade classes learned on drums, a West African folk song, with Mr. Mobley and another drummer friend.

Mr. Mobley and his two friends were with us for only one week. It was challenging to learn our West African dance in one class and practice once before the final assembly on Friday. All third, fourth, and fifth graders were very excited to perform with Mr. Mobley and his friends. We hope one day Mr. Mobley will come back to Chickering School.

Reported by:

Adam, Coleman, Matty, and Will G.