The Academic Club Methodology employs an arts-based approach to help immerse our students into a time period and foster a life long love for learning about history. This method helps emerging readers access historical content by removing the barriers of the traditional text centered approach and by transporting the student to a specific time period where they can learn by doing.
The Club Method, developed by The Lab School of Washington, is designed to capture the imagination and enthusiasm of the student while specific history, geography, civic, speaking, and listening skills are targeted. In our Lower School, our students study early man, the great ancient civilizations, the middle ages, and the Renaissance through the use of this unique "live it, learn it" teaching philosophy. As our students enter Middle School, they continue to learn through the arts with a greater emphasis placed on developing study skills, note taking, guided research, test taking, and general academic organization.
Lower School Club Sequence and Descriptions
As members of the Cave Club, our first graders take on the roles of cave men and women. Their classroom is transformed into a cave where the Wise Elder teaches them about early man, life forms, and basic geography.
Our second graders meet in the River Valley Club which follows the lifestyles and major events of the initial river valley civilizations. As these students "settle down", and leave their nomadic lives behind them, they learn about early farming techniques and how civilization developed.
The great civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome are studied amongst the pillars and pyramids of the Gods and Goddesses Club. Here, our third graders take on the roles of ancient gods and goddesses in order to draw connections between the ancient world and our own.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, in 476, Europe is plunged into the Dark Ages. Our fourth graders study this special 1000-year period in the Knights and Ladies Club. Their classroom is transformed into a feudal castle and their teacher, Merlin the Wizard, guides them through history as they await their knighting ceremonies.
Our fifth graders take on the roles of the great artists of the Italian Renaissance in the Renaissance Club. Here, they study the fine arts that were perfected by each of their characters and create samples of their work. They also learn of the unique ideas that emerged throughout Florence and the world during this period.
Middle School Club Sequence and Descriptions
In the Museum Club, our students recreate some of the most important artifacts from history. Three times a year, they open the doors and act as docents, taking their visitors through the vast history of man and world religions.
In the 7th grade, our students enter the Democracy Club where they study the roots of American government and survey our history from pre-columbian North America until the Civil War. Our revolutionary students spend many days exploring the rich history of Philadelphia.
In the Young Republic Club, our 8th graders learn how America was transformed from its fragile state during reconstruction to a world power in the 20th century. Through debates and intensive study of constitutional law, our young Americans learn about their civic rights and responsibilities.
*The Academic Club Methodology™ was developed at The Lab School of Washington by Sally L. Smith. ReadThe Efficacy of the Lab School Approachto learn how experiencing the Academic Club Methodology™ in the lower grades contributes to a student's understanding and performance in high school.
"The cornerstone of the AIM experience is the club methodology...a highly scholastic approach which incorporates subjects such as civics, geography, history and literature through an arts-based learning environment.
As AIM students pass through the academic clubs, they are traveling through history, and experience the past, present and future of the world first-hand"
Knights and Ladies club building and firing siege machines: