We believe that important dimensions of education occur outside the day-to-day classroom. Community service, special co-curricular activities, and field trips ranging from the Portland Museum of Art to an all-day outing in Boston are all important additions to our academic curriculum.
Each semester, students sign up for Activities offered by our advisors and other Middle School teachers. Each activity meets for forty minutes at midday on Tuesday. Activities reflect the passions and interests of our students and teachers, and we encourage our students to suggest new activities. Activities are open to students in all Middle Student grades and provide opportunities for cross-grade connections.
Sample activities have included the ones listed below.
- Backgammon & Other Ancient Board Games
- Be the Change
- Color Me Calm
- Help Haiti
- Legos and Sphero Robots
- Mean Green Eco Team
- The Power of Song
- Science Fiction Club
- Science Olympiad
- Spirit Club
- Virtual Book Talk Club
- Winter/Spring Walking & Yoga Club
- World Wildlife
Both beginners and advanced players are welcome! Backgammon is an ancient Middle Eastern board game played between two competitors using two dice, 15 checkers, and a simple board. The game is easy to learn for beginners, but offers experienced players the possibility of delving into complex strategy. In this activity, students will have the opportunity to master backgammon basics and improve their game while playing competitively or noncompetitively (perhaps while drinking hot cocoa!), and may also choose to explore other ancient games such as Mancala (from Africa) or Go (from China).
This group will engage in conversations about local, national, and global issues while focusing on Waynflete’s mission to encourage “caring participation in the world.” We will read articles, discuss current events, and explore ways that we can make change in our own lives. We will practice active listening, watch TED talks, write opinion pieces, and try out various discussion formats throughout the semester. We will also invite outside speakers to share their insights and experiences—from local political officials to writers and leaders focused on social justice.
Relax and take a break from the busy pace of the day. Spark your imagination and tap into your creativity—“play” with colors! In this activity, we will create a quiet space to color mandalas, animals, molas (from Panama), gardens, or anything you might imagine while we listen to quiet music, drink tea, and tell stories. How long has it been since you last colored in the lines? You might just find it to be a great way to take a deep breath and slow down. Everyone is welcome!
Innovation. Action. Leadership. Join Help Haiti to brainstorm and carry out projects to raise support for and awareness about our neighbors in Haiti. One recent inspiring activity was the Haitian Festival. We hold bake sales, sell Haitian coffee, and make mugs, cards, and crafts to sell. Another critical part of our mission is making the Waynflete community better informed about Haitian life and culture. If you have ideas and energy, and want to make positive changes in the world, this is the activity for you!
In this activity students will help to create and sustain a more eco-friendly environment in the Middle School. Students will take part in green initiatives including recycling, gardening, and composting. We are hoping to plan a field trip to EcoMaine and/or Garbage to Garden to see large-scale recycling and composting efforts in action.
We will look at how music raised the awareness of many social issues, including civil rights, war, social change, and global awareness. We will listen to songs, watch videos, and discuss music and musicians that have had an impact on our society. Additional work may include watching videos, reading lyrics, and researching historical events.
In this activity, students will explore the many realms of science fiction—and not just the ordinary. We will look at stories, books, television shows, movies, and other media from a variety of different time periods, engaging in discovery and discussion about all things science fiction. From spaceships to monsters from the deep sea, students will have a chance to investigate both the common and strange side of science fiction. Whether you are an avid fan of sci-fi or are interested to know more, we welcome all who share a curiosity in science fiction.
Love to tinker? Ever wonder what the stars are made of? Ever dream of becoming a doctor? Do you love to drop eggs? Science Olympiad may be for you! Join the Waynflete Middle School Science Olympiad team and compete in a statewide competition in late March or early April 2017 (you must be available for the day-long Saturday event). Limit: 15 serious eighth-grade students with free time and an intrinsic motivation for science.
In this activity you'll use presentation tools like Explain Everything and Voicethread to create virtual book talks that your classmates can access when they're looking for their next ORP book—or just for something great to read. If you enjoy creating presentations (or want to get more practice) and want to suggest books you love, join the Virtual Book Talk Club!
Do you love the outdoors? Join this group and enjoy a brisk walk as we explore various routes and landmarks around the West End. There are many proven benefits of walking, including improved health, energy, memory, and mood. You'll have a chance to connect with others, reconnect with yourself, observe nature, learn about the neighborhood, let go of your morning, and recharge for the afternoon. We will even do some yoga as part of the activity. We will walk in all seasons and weather conditions, so be sure to bring an adventurous spirit and appropriate footwear/outerwear.
Would you like to be an environmental activist? Members of this group will learn about the WWF organization and plan ways to support its programs to lesson the global threats to wild animals around the world. We will "adopt" animals, create an educational display in the Forum, plan assemblies, and learn about the threatened wild animals around the world. We will educate others about Earth Hour and try to convince the City of Portland to become an Earth Hour City. Students may sign up for this activity again, even if they were a part of it in the first semester.