5PA students recently explored ways individuals interact within systems. We began by reading one of my favorite short stories from author, Ray Bradbury, entitled "All Summer in a Day". The story is about a class of school children on Venus. In this story, Venus is a world of constant rainstorms, where the Sun is only visible for two hours every seven years. One of the children, Margot, moved to venus from Earth just five years earlier, and is the only one in her class to remember sunshine, since is had shone regularly on Earth. Margot is bullied and ostracized by the other students. In the end, a valuable lesson is expressed to readers. We had many days of engaging and meaningful conversations about this text.
Connecting to the setting in "All Summer in a Day", students explored two different towns where the unchanging environment had an impact on individuals. We began by exploring Rjukan, Norway, where one conceptual artist wanted to create a solution for the six months of continuous darkness the town receives each year. Click the NY Times icon below to view this article.
Students also explored "The Land of the Midnight Sun" in Barrow, Alaska. In the NPR interview below, students discover the challenges of experiencing the opposite, continuous sunlight, for 12 weeks during the year.