Encouraging Independence

Many of the projects Forsyth students undertake are large scale, and our graduates consistently tell us that organizational skills learned at Forsyth gave them a leg up in secondary school.  Take memory mapping, for example.  At Forsyth, fourth graders map the United States from memory, fifth graders map South America, and sixth graders map the world from memory.  So, how would an 11-year-old map the world from memory? 

Different geographic regions of the world are reviewed in social studies during the school year, and there are unit-based assessments to ensure that the material is learned.  In May of sixth grade, students develop their maps of the world from memory, during class time, and each map is based on the student’s goals.  One child may be interested in showing climate regions as an overlay to all the countries in the world.  Some children may have unique graphical interpretations in their maps.  Despite the fact that the world memory map is an ungraded social studies unit, consistently, year after year, Forsyth sixth graders develop outstanding maps of the world.  They are motivated to set greater challenges for themselves and have the skills necessary to manage a large-scale, multi-disciplinary, multi-step project – and to do it well.  This is a school where “personal best” counts.

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