Friday, November 3, 2017

Weekly overview - week of 10/30/17

We hope you had a happy and safe Halloween. We had a wonderful time leading the parade and seeing all of the creative costumes.

This week, inspired by conversations borne out of our visit to City Hall, we researched and debated the deer cull in Ann Arbor. This was our second fishbowl debate of the year and just as lively as the first.

We also continued work on individual consultations with experts in students’ selected topic areas. Students have practiced reaching out to professionals via email and conducting phone and email interviews. They are now working to summarize their findings as they prepare their final Michigan Student Caucus proposals.

In English this week, we started with an introduction to poetic vocabulary and the concept of scansion. After we practiced identifying iambic feet and learning about the history of the sonnet, we did an initial reading of Shakespeare’s eighteenth sonnet (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”). We’ll return to this form (the sonnet) in the near future in order to explore the way that it has changed over time and the way that modern poets use it today.

On Thursday, we welcomed Mohamed Abouelenien, a UM computer science professor who is affiliated with the Islamic Center of Ann Arbor, to talk with us about the fundamental tenets of Islam and the harmful stereotypes Muslims face today. As we’ve been studying the workings of American government (on federal, state, and local levels), we’ve done so with an eye toward the evolving understanding of who Americans are and how the concept of “an American” has grown more inclusive over time.

On Friday, the eighth graders continued their visits to local high schools with a trip to Rudolf Steiner High School.

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