Franklin’s 6th Grade launches “Wh-iConnect?”Expedition, Exploring the Nature and Power of Connection

Franklin’s 6th Grade launches “Wh-iConnect?”Expedition, Exploring the Nature and Power of Connection

Franklin’s 6th Grade kicked off Expedition “Wh-iConnect,” exploring the nature and power of connection, with a visit from Prof. Andrew Laughlin, expert ornithologist and avian ecologist from UNCA, who helped students set up migratory bird houses on campus, and Stephanie Belt, from Pisgah Valley Retirement community, where students have already connected in service-learning.  IMG_1474

For this expedition, students will explore themes of connection and community through a cultural, as well as a scientific lens. Students will partner up with residents of the Pisgah Valley Retirement Community to document information about their life, family, and their personal connection to the community. They will also meet regularly with another adult of their choice (family member, neighbor, etc.) to create a product that reflects their experience. In Science, students will explore how living and nonliving things are connected to one another within an ecosystem by exploring various migratory species.

Guiding Question: How and why do we become connected?

Science: How does the movement of migratory species connect places?

ELA: How can I become more connected to my family/community?

Social Studies: What does human connection look like in the 21st century?

Math: How does music connect people?

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Students have been making connections to the larger world this spring by visiting Pisgah Valley nursing home weekly and facilitating conversations with residents.  Here’s what some Franklin six graders recently had to share about the connections they’ve made with friends at Pisgah Valley:

Nina Lief-Stetson: Helping others is fun to do. When you help someone else, there is a glow in your heart.
Elijah Bettencourt: It is amazing how many stories they have to tell if you just listen.
Austin Miller: I really like hearing their stories when we go, but I love seeing their bright smiles even more.
Rayna Brown: Connecting with others and hearing their stories is very inspiring.
Russell Barnett: I have so much fun with the elders. They are so fun and they teach me life lessons.
Milly Redrick: It’s fun going to the nursing home and it’s really cool to see their smiles.
Dargan Vorus: I love when we go there. Everybody has a smile on their face. Everybody loves it.
Collin Pressly: It was a great experience to go meet some of Asheville’s seniors and hear about their experiences and their lives.I feel like we’ve made a real connection.

In Ms. Lappe’s class, student scientists are exploring how the migration of various species connects people and places across the country, and the world.  Students are looking at how and why specific species migrate, how people may be putting these migrations at risk, and at what we can do to protect these species and their migration.  

NOTE:  Please stay connected!  Check back for weekly updates on Ms. Lappe’s Connected by Motion Science study of species migration, Mr. Keller’s Connected by Math and Music exploration, and Mr. Freeman’s Oral History Project!  (Hopefully, we’ll have some nesting birds move into the new houses the sixth graders have planted on campus.)


Mr. Freeman’s ELA students practice inquiry and collaboration, both in planning for Oral History Interviews to document untold stories of community members and also by reflecting upon what we can all learn by taking time to make connections with people young and old.


How does music connect us? Mr. Keller’s Mathematical Musicians practice persistence in finding pitch and keeping tempo, as they practice for their musical presentation later this spring.



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