“I feel like I have time traveled and I really am in the 1800s.” While (to the best of our knowledge) no real time travel occurred, you could have fooled our 3rd-5th grade Quest students on their field trip to the Littleton Historical Museum!
Exploring the Littleton Museum
At the Littleton Museum, our students were able to see how the Littleton community has developed since its founding. You might think that the 1860s and 1890s were so similar, but our students learned how much things can really change in thirty years! Students loved how the museum focuses on living history. Staff members dress up and the farmhouses are kept in their original state, so it feels like you have jumped back in time. Students enjoyed the animals and also got to try their hand at apple peeling and blacksmithing.
These students are all part of Quest, a program at Denver Christian designed to meet the intellectual and social-emotional needs of high-ability learners. As a part of our Extend program, Quest is an exciting opportunity for students to deeply explore topics they are interested and gifted in. During their weekly sessions, Quest students research, conduct interviews, and creatively explore topics together while also developing social and emotional skills.
Student Driven Exploration
Our students are exploring the concept of community this year. Their theme is “What’s My Story, What’s Your Story, What’s Our Story?” The Denver Christian Community has a 100-year heritage that our students will be studying. Going to the Littleton Museum was more than just a fun outing. Students took time to examine a community and consider the identifiers of that community. What is the museum saying about the community of Littleton? How did they display the identity of the town of Littleton? Students ask similar questions to better understand the Denver Christian legacy.
During Quest this semester, these students will be interviewing and learning the stories of various members of the DC community. They will analyze what identifies the DC community. They will create a 2022 calendar featuring “The Stories of DC.” In December, students will share their stories and other stories of Denver Christian in a chapel.
Meeting student needs through Quest
After a year of investing time into this program, we are seeing how important Quest is to our school. Quest coordinator Karen Waanders is seeing students embrace a growth mindset while learning to take risks and try new things. “I also think one of the biggest benefits of the Quest program are the social-emotional benefits. The students share more and engage in very meaningful discussions because of the smaller group, and the fact that they are with their intellectual peers. They look forward to our time together and see it as a “safe place” to belong,” she observes.
“Kids are growing in the way they approach the open-endedness of the projects and learning we do. They are starting to embrace taking more creative risks and trying new things.“Karen Waanders
Programs like Quest play an important role in our community. Our vision is to provide an accessible world-class, whole child, Christian education where students flourish every day in every way. A field trip to the museum is always fun. However, programs like Quest help us turn fun experiences into opportunities to grow cognitively and creatively.