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Gettysburg 2015: Bringing our 11th Grade Community Closer

On July 1st, 1863, the Union Army of the Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia converged upon a small town in Adams County, Pennsylvania in a battle that would prove to be the turning point in the Civil War. This week, Field's 11th grade embarked on the History Department's capstone field trip, tracing Union and Confederate footsteps through the hallowed ground of Gettysburg National Military Park.
 
How long has the History Department been taking students to Gettysburg? Well, as long as anyone can remember! In History 11, second semester is dedicated to 19th century America—and we feel that you can’t truly understand current American history unless you understand the cultural buildup to, and events of, the Civil War. So, simply in terms of curricular design, a trip to Gettysburg is a logical piece of the puzzle.  
 
In terms of Field culture, the trip has become a rite of passage for students. “At this point in the year,” explains Ryan Reese, “juniors are starting to think about being leaders and existing as a 'united front'. The history aspect of this trip is obviously important, but equally as important is the community building."

THURSDAY: SCAVENGER HUNT & MARCHING DRILL 

The trip begins, of course, on the battlefield. On arrival at Gettysburg, students headed to Cemetery Ridge—the primary defensive position of the Union Army—for a scavenger hunt. Before the scavenger hunt begins, students were divided into Union and Confederate armies, and then into small battalions with 8 or 9 soldiers and a General (chaperone). Each battalion was responsible for coming up with a name and battle cry. Points were awarded for creativity, style, and enthusiasm, and the battalion with the greatest number of points at the end of the day received an amazing Gettysburg t-shirt. Following the scavenger hunt is a marching drill, where everyone marched as they did during the war.

FRIDAY: BATTLEFIELD GAME 

On Friday, the Battlefield Game—a civil war version of capture the flag—begins. Each battalion was given three objectives, based on finding a specific marker and collecting important information to report back to their General. On completion of each objective, battalions received a one-word clue that helped their army solve a riddle that points to where the flag is hidden with the other army. Once they solved the riddle, they marched as a group to capture the flag. The winner this year: THE SOUTH!
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Field Theater takes on The Merchant of Venice!

This March, while the majority of Field students were at various internship locations or on one of our three internship trips, Winter Production's longstanding tradition of putting together a full-length show in two weeks was in full swing. This year's production? Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice!
 
If you walked by the theater, you undoubtedly found one (or more) of our thirteen actors memorizing scripts, practicing lines, and rehearsing scenes. Set foot inside the theater and you would find our eight technicians hanging and cabling lights, building and designing sets and props, choosing costumes, and more. Winter Production is a full-scale production—and it's always very exciting to see in progress!
 
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Field's Hands-on Learning

One of the greatest hallmarks of a Field education is our teachers' commitment to creating a hands-on learning environment both inside the classroom and out. This means that our students' daily lives are full of projects that allow them to get their hands dirty, simulations that encourage a different way of thinking, and trips that open their eyes to various worlds.
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A Day at the Museum!

Today our 10th grade took a trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of Art! They toured around with a docent and learned all about the intricacies of Renaissance Portraits. It was a great day! 
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Winter Open House 2014!

This past Tuesday was Winter Open House, our annual celebration of students' visual and performance arts. There are few things quite as special as coming together before the holidays to share this evening with the whole community, and it did not disappoint. The level of creativity and skill demonstrated across the board was truly astounding, and the new spaces allowed us to spread out and take in the surroundings in a way that was impossible before. Thank you, artists!
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Thinking Globally

When it comes to research and writing at The Field School, the crowning jewel has always been the History 11 research paper. Completed in the fall of junior year, this 10-page paper is the culmination of our students’ research and writing skills. But for some, it’s just not enough. Maybe they could use one more shot at refining those skills; maybe they just love research and writing. No matter the reason, this year we’ve come up with a solution: Global Narratives.
 
Global Narratives—the exploration of the world’s stories—is our brand new, research-based History elective aimed at bolstering students’ confidence in research and writing. This course provides an interesting blend of independent work and communal study. Together, students brush up on the basics of a good research paper: writing a thoughtful research question, outlining the structure of an argument, creating a bibliography, and writing a literary review. They then take these skills—along with thorough independent research—and produce some truly astounding pieces of work.
 
The fall semester features three long-form research papers. To get the writing wheels turning, the first two papers were written in easily digestible chunks. Students research and write each chunk independently, but then come together in a roundtable setting to present their work and receive peer feedback.
 
The third and final paper of the semester is very independent. With only three weeks to write, this is a culmination of the skills learned at the beginning of the semester. By this point, students are thinking: ‘I can produce an essay in a short period of time and I can do it well.’
 
The spring features one long research project—writing a paper, planning a presentation, and perhaps even a creating a TED talk. Throughout the semester students will look at different presentation styles and different ways of doing primary source analysis, and the result will be an amazing, capstone project.  
 
“Global Narratives provides students with the necessary structured classroom time with peers,” explains Georgia Warner, Global Narratives teachers and History Department Chair, “but gives them enough space to develop independently and delve into their own academic passions and interests.”

What are students writing about? 

Well, so far we’ve seen all sorts of topics: Japanese history through their cuisine, comparisons of afterlife mythology in various cultures, the science of mermaids, human rights in the circus, medicinal tattooing, and why we should no longer support the Olympics. One student is turning this semester’s papers into a three-part series exploring the idea of military brutality through the eyes of the samurai, the Vikings, and the Iroquois. The topics are varied, unique and interesting!
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Grandparents Day 2014!

As always, our annual Grandparents and "Grand-friends" Day was truly AMAZING! It's unbelievable to be able to share the school with these important members of our community, and the feeling of joy when they are on campus is palpable. This year, we were lucky enough to host lunch in The Elizabeth Meeting House. Thank you for joining us!
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Be Yourself at The Field School

Self-Discovery.  It's the first word in our mission statement, and its pursuit is innate to everyday life at Field.  Students are encouraged to think and learn about themselves, and to grow as individuals over the course of their time here.  They can be studious, athletic, shy, boisterous, latino, focused, whimsical, black, white or anytihng else they want—so long as they are who they truly are.

Field is a place where you can be yourself.
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