Months of research on global policy are culminating this week in sixth grade.
Today is a daylong Model United Nations, with students challenged to advocate for their assigned populations while finding consensus and producing collaborative policy statements.
The session takes place four days after Earth Day, in the wake of worldwide demonstrations led, in many cases, by teenagers.
It's appropriate, then, that the sixth graders are focusing primarily on climate change and water security.
The fact-fueled negotiations happening today demonstrate the kind of deep learning that can happen when "geography" lessons go beyond rivers and borders to include economics, cultures, histories, and the web of relationships that tie populations together.
The Model UN is structured so that every student addresses the entire group at some point during the day.
That's part of a schoolwide commitment to making sure every student in every grade has multiple chances to practice speaking in front of group on a topic they hold close to their heart.
In Kindergarten, that's explaining what you know about penguin habitats in morning circle.
At the sixth grade Model UN, that's presenting research on sea level rise to the entire grade.
Special thanks to keynote speaker, and sixth grade parent, Dr. Jennifer Friedman, who talked about her recent experiences on public health issues in Uganda, the Philipines and Rhode Island.
Tomorrow, the sixth grade heads to New York City to explore the United Nations for themselves.