Bugbee Quest Update


4th Grade Theme Projects

A juicy theme is not a topic but a broad idea capable of multiple interpretations. An umbrella /theme metaphor is used to get students thinking. Fourth grade Quest groups brainstormed, as many ideas as they could, finally agreeing on one per class. Each of the themes has been applied to the theory of multiple intelligences, as a way to find a menu of research directions. A creative project will result becoming their first full Quest project.

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Norden’s class chose the idea of movement. No surprise, since they spent the first part of the year on a tight rope. The involuntary "fight or flight" instinct is as full of movement, as the creative ideas of a choreographed dance or a musical movement. Rube Goldberg has given them much to ponder, as they try to create their own complicated steps to a simple movement. They are finding the study of physics and simple machines a challenge that invites plenty of experimentation.


DePietro’s class settled on conflict. They have found dozens of examples starting with environmental conflicts and on to medical situations, such as ebola and the current vaccination dilemma. Historical power-struggles lead to war and may produce non-violent conflict resolution. And natural disasters require problem solving at a critical level. A deep dive into the "Dust Bowl" has multiple aspects to consider. Wait, are these 4th graders?

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Cherny’s class had very little debate before deciding on culture. They quickly took off with various countries of interest. There are endless directions from folk traditions to mythologies. Art, music, food, religion: our Bugbee International Night has cultivated a variety of cultures right here at home. We have also found a full section in our library providing resources for us. The importance of cultural sensitivity has prompted interesting conversation.

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Grade 5 Independent Type III Investigations

Each 5th grader pitched his/her Quest project to each other and for the video camera. There is a wide variety of interests represented, from social science to earth science and classic literature/art/music to modern. Original research is underway regarding optical illusions and animal therapy. Students evaluated the types of research that might fit their topics including experimental, descriptive, and historical. Many questions for an expert have expanded knowledge beyond the books. One highlight was hearing from the professor of ethno-musicology at Wesleyan University, an expert in Klezmer music. Be sure to mark your calendars for the Quest Fair Wednesday, May 27 at Morley Elementary.

Mini-History Day

Mr. Brouse’ class agreed to experiment with a mini-History Day project. Although they are too young to enter the actual competition, they went through the process. Each student chose a topic under the theme Leadership and Legacy in History. Following the guidelines for this thesis driven, persuasive project, they supported their claim with a combination of primary and secondary sources. The evaluation process, followed the rules for the competitive contest. Experienced Sedgwick, Conard History Day participants, and Dr. Warren Goldstein's University of Hartford students were on committees to evaluate each project. With the help of our University of Hartford intern John and much parent support the event came together. Students are now deciding how to improve for the Quest Fair.