The Sundance calendar is theme based. Through team teaching and a very healthy dose of creativity we weave the theme of the year into every aspect of the curriculum. Each year is a different theme-4 to be a exact; This Land is Your Land, The Earth is Good to Me, It's a Small World, and Everything Under the Sun. The Happening is the culmination of a yearlong study of the specific theme.
The Happening is unique to Sundance. It takes hard work, many hours of planning, and a great deal of physical labor, but the delight of the children when they discover and learn makes the whole process worth it. There is a Native American saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Sundance is a village, it is made up of a group of dedicated, hardworking, caring people whose one goal is to raise a child to be all they can be!
Conducting a yearlong theme takes a great deal of planning and teamwork. Frequent brainstorming sessions help generate ideas and inspire creativity. The Happening itself reflects the process, condensed into a brief, magical moment in time. The school literally attempts to become the theme that has been its yearlong focus. To see the wonder in the eyes of the children as they hear, smell, feel, and even taste a new world come to life through active use of their imaginations is truly rewarding for all concerned. It makes the intense commitment of time and resources well worth the effort. The Happenings foster a love of learning and knowledge and a sense of wonder and joy- Ms. Cynthia, Happening Coordinator
Our Four Themes:
This Land is Your Land
"This Land is Your Land" is the Happening about America. The children have been schooled in the history of our country and the final prize is a trip into its past. They travel west in covered wagons in search of a new life. The auditorium is transformed into a scene from the Wild West! Some of the rotations include a visit to a General Store, a train station, a Native American teepee, and even an old fashioned jail!
The Earth is Good to Me
"The Earth is Good to Me' Happening is our environmental theme event. We transform the auditorium into a rainforest, where children explore the area while discovering how we are connected to our planet. The central area of this Happening is the Kapok Tree. A story about the Kapok Tree and the animals that live there is reenacted with the participation of the children. Other rotations include a river ride, investigating insects, and learning how to help save our planet!
It's a Small World
"It's a Small World" is our international theme. We transform the auditorium into various countries around the world. The center of this Happening is a giant globe and various countries are represented around the room. This Happening has been a great event for parents to participate in. The room is divided into north, south, east and west. Some of the countries that are represented are Kenya, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, France, England, and Italy!
Everything Under the Sun
During our "Everything Under the Sun" theme we turn the auditorium into a city where children explore hands on science. We explore the solar system, physics in the park, transportation, Earth science in Earthquake Alley, the human body in the hospital, and senses in the 'Olefactory'. We often bring in hands on activities where children can discover for themselves the fun in science!
Check out the videos from our Rainforest Rhythms Happening!