Upper Assembly (ages 10-13)
Our children in the Upper Assembly continue to build on these foundations, to expand their sense of social responsibility, to explore global ethical dilemmas and the history of ideas, ethical approaches to questions or origins, birth, death and celebrations as well as learning about ethics in the context of world religions and Ethical Culture history. The main goal for this age group is to begin to explore their own beliefs in preparation for their Coming of Age year.
With the understanding that people learn and grow through a variety of experiences, the lessons use literature, art, activities, games and discussion to explore topics. The lessons build on each other so that they start with the basics in the lower grades and build to more philosophical discussions of what they have learned as they move into the middle school years.
Curriculum goals include:
- exploring everyday ethical dilemmas, appropriate for their age, through the arts and sciences
- learning about ethics in the context of world religions, including various traditions and holidays, discussing constructive, ethical approaches to questions or origins, birth, death and celebrations
- exploring current and historical ethical heroes as exemplars of how an ethical life is realized
- knowing why Felix Adler founded Ethical Culture, come to know who he was, and learn about other leaders that have impacted our world locally and globally
The curriculum for children in 5th through 8th grades is thematic and based on modules; a model known as “workshop rotations.” Each two to three week module is centered on a rich story which illuminates the ethical principle of the theme.
The first week of the module introduces the story and through a group activity creates the context for deeper exploration in subsequent weeks. Next, there are one or two weeks of multisensory workshops designed to appeal to different learning styles and amplify understanding. Twice per year the module culminates with a service project or community celebration to put into action all that has been learned.
Most Sundays we have five to ten children and one teacher per group.
Typical Sunday Class
10:30 – Arrive for supervised, open play at playground
11:00 – Opening Circle Song
11:10 – Story
11:20 – Learning Activities
11:50 – Ethical Questions
12:00 – Closing Circle
12:20 – Open Play / Games
12:30 – Dismissal