The annual Sutherland Award for Excellence in Children's Literature
The Lower School of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools serves a diverse student body of approximately four hundred thirty students in third through fifth grades.
Lower School children hit an important “aha!” moment when learning garnered in younger years, coalesces into more sophisticated thinking and peer relationships. They make an important leap when they go from learning to read to reading to learn. With this skill comes the ability to acquire and master new intellectual challenges, including starting specialist-taught classes in third grade: science and a world language (French, German, Mandarin Chinese, or Spanish.) Art, computer science, library, music, and PE all continue.
Collaborative activities with common goals teach the importance of cooperation, responsibility, and a continuing and more sophisticated respect for each individual’s ideas. Careful thought and planning goes into creating classroom environments that foster—and sustain—the intellectual curiosity children bring to learning.
Lower School students are at just the right age to be both “big buddies” and “little buddies.” As big buddies, they experience the sense of mastery and pride that comes from interacting with younger children. As little buddies to our Middle and High Schoolers, they get to work with and learn from older students.
Students were divided into traditional affirmative and negative roles for the debate, and were provided an evidence sheet to prompt persuasive rhetoric and to help them develop their arguments
The Lower School participates in the Global Cardboard Challenge, which encourages kids to build anything they can think of using cardboard and everyday items
The young designers had already executed a major "play survey" to help inform plans for the Historic Campus outdoor play spaces
Fourth-grade students go on a mission to find answers to these, and other complicated questions—using nothing but math
The project gives students an opportunity to further their research skills, embrace creativity, and learn more about primary sources and the importance of perspective