Interdisciplinary Intensives

From Wonderland to Hogwarts to Hawken: An Exploration of Children’s Literature and Experiential Learning
  • Explores questions including “What makes the experience of returning to Wonderland, Hogwarts and so many other literary wonderlands so special?” and “Why does children’s literature endure and continue to captivate young and old readers alike?”
  • Includes a study of works by Carroll, J.K. Rowling and theories of John Dewey and James A. Hawken
  • Explores homelessness - the condition itself, its causes and complications, and noteworthy individual and community responses
  • Includes a service learning component with a Cleveland service agency
In the Footsteps of Seneca Falls: Political Rights and Artistic Voices
  • Explores women’s lives in the hundred years between the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848 and the Ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.
  • Focuses on the lives of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, Emily Dickinson and Edith Wharton
  • Examines the history of American journalism, explores the foundational principles of the field, exposes students to several important exemplars of journalism, and then leads students to create their own pieces of incisive journalism
America: A Global Perspective
  • Examines how America has come to be what it is today through interactions with other nations and how it as in turn become an important force in changing other cultures
  • Explores in detail what happens when America ideas come into contact with political and intellectual structures that are different from these

The Identity Project: Exploring Diversity and Social Justice in the 21st Century
  • Examines how social identities in the United State, particularly race, ethnicity and class, were created historically and how they influence our individual and communal experiences in a complex world
  • Includes attendance at the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California

In Pursuit of Justice
  • Explores history of the United States by examining our rights as enumerated in the U.S. constitution and subsequent U.S. Supreme Court decisions   
  • Includes presentations, groups activities, debates, simulations and field trips to see government in action
Parks and Recreation: The Real Story… Cleveland’s Metroparks!
  • Explores the history and nature of Cleveland’s Metroparks and the “Emerald Necklace” both in class and through volunteer work at a park of the student’s choice
Humanities 10: Trump Tower or Rust Belt Blues: How the Economy Shapes the Modern World
  • Opens with an in-depth study of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, a play that dramatizes the clash of modern economic ideas and traditional prejudices
  • Examines economic theories of the early modern world and examines the technological and social changes that came in their wake in the Industrial Revolution
  • Culminates in a study of the post-industrial world and contemporary issues with the modern economic model
Humanities 10: Whose Island Is It?  Irish Immigration
  • Focuses on immigration in the Atlantic world, particularly through the lens of Ireland and its history past and present
  • Opens with an in-depth study of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, opening students up to the notion of a struggle for the control of land and investigates what happens when people from different cultures (native and foreign) clash in that battle
  • Provides overview of Irish colonial and post-colonial history and the various immigration waves that happened as a result
  • Culminates in the monologue project for which students interview an immigrant about their experiences, write a first person monologue from the perspective of their interviewee, and then perform this monologue for the class
Humanities 10: Whose Island is It?  Latino Immigration in the United States
  • Focuses on the issue of immigration in the United States and the social, cultural, and economic factors that make it an important and controversial issue in our country
  • Opens with an in-depth study of Shakespeare’s drama The Tempest that  builds on students’ knowledge of first-wave colonization of the Americas by European nations and the conflict that arises when cultures clash over land and resources, and a re-examination of the concept of “the other” and how our understanding of it shapes our interactions with diverse groups
  • Culminates in two projects: 1) a  monologue project for which students interview an immigrant about their experiences, write a first person monologue from the perspective of their interviewee, and then perform the monologue for the class, and 2) an immigration debate in which each student researches and then represents a contemporary political voice on the issue of immigration in a day-long debate.
Engineering in Society
  • Immerses students in the field by working with local engineers to find solutions to some of the complex problems facing Cleveland
  • Explores the complicated socio-political and economic constraints within which engineers must work
  • Provides students with the opportunity to present their work to experts in the field
Mind Games: Experimental Psychology and Statistics
  • Addresses various areas of psychology such as memory, cognition, sensual perception, emotion, motivation and others as students state hypotheses and design and carry out experiments to test them
  • Incorporate collaboration with researchers at local universities of hospitals

Music Playlist
  • Focuses on different styles and genres from the 20th and 21st Centuries including hip hop, punk, reggae ton, mariachi, nor-Tec, dancehall, roots music, samba, folk, country, electronic dance music, and how they relate to the urban environments where they were developed and where they continue to thrive
  • Studies today’s movement of World Music to globally understand the richness and diversity of contemporary music outside the Western World
The Creative Process
  • Teaches time-tested processes from some of the greatest creative minds on the planet
  • Provides ample opportunities to engage in and refine their own creative processes through a variety of real-life situations with immediate application
Digital Photography
  • Involves visits to various historical areas and landmarks in greater Cleveland, which students will document with cameras, camcorders, phones and other electronic media devices
  • Includes the creation of a personalized documentary or video diary that is reflective of their new experiences in Cleveland. 
Graffiti and Murals
  • Focuses on the investigation between graffiti used as a form of vandalism or gang activity and compare it to the use of graffiti as a means of social and political expression
  • Explores the history of this art form, that artists who have made it fashionable and profitable locally, nationally and internationally
  • Explores hands-on spray paint tagging, multiple stencil markings, silk screen phrases and images to morph graffiti into street art with social commentary
Introduction to Filmmaking
  • Involves the creation of a complete live action short film generated entirely by the class, who will write scripts, direct, film, edit and create sound and visual effects using the Adobe Creative Suite and iMovie

Humanities 10: Monsters or Prey? An Exploration of Otherness in America
  • Focuses on essential questions including: What are the boundaries between monster and prey, and who decides?  Who does America cast as her monsters, and why? What motivates us to distinguish “us” from “them,” “good guys from “bad?”  Why should I care about “Others?”
  • Includes analyzing and performing William Shakespeare’s Othello with a teaching artist from The Great Lakes Theater Company
  • Examines the experiences of those deemed “others” in America, exploring the historical evolution and social context through which one becomes demonized within modern American society
Travel Intensive: Art, Latin and History in Rome
  • Immerses students in an exploration of Rome’s art, literature and archaeology
  • Provides an overview of art and history in the two millennia from Romulus to the Renaissance
  • Includes readings from traditional Roman authors to graffiti, individual and group projects, and presentations

Travel Intensive: Spanish Immersion in Chile
  • Improves students’ linguistic and cultural fluency through engaging in an in-country experience in and around Concepcion, Chile
  • Explores the themes of conflict and social classes, poetry, education and cultural integration through personal experience, field trips, literature and assignments

“Whodunit?: Following the Forensic Story”
  • Focuses on the preservation of justice through scientific applications through use of analytical and deductive reasoning skills, combined with the practical skills of forensic techniques
Comedy and Social Satire
  • Explores the power of comedy within society, starting with historical context, and culminating in a comedy show written and performed by the students, including both live and filmed components
Create Music
  • Develops a student’s ability to recognize, understand and describe the processes of music
  • Engages students in learning to hear, perform, write, create and analyze music while interacting with music technology
  • Includes travel to local recording/electronic music studios to record compositions and projects as well as visits to venues in Cleveland to showcase original compositions
An independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school, toddler through grade 12

Lower & Middle Schools, 5000 Clubside Rd, Lyndhurst, OH 44124
Birchwood School of Hawken, 4400 West 140th Street, Cleveland, OH 44135 

Upper School, PO Box 8002 (12465 County Line Rd), Gates Mills, OH 44040
Mastery School of Hawken, 11025 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106

Gries Center, 10823 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106

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