For one week in mid-September, students in grades 6 – 8 and 11 and 12 left the comfortable classrooms of Tashkent International School to explore the wall-less learning opportunities tucked away in the hills and dunes of Uzbekistan.
Titled Week Without Walls, the annual trips are part of the experiential learning curriculum at TIS. Every year secondary students make these trips, each grade going to a different part of Uzbekistan and focusing on a different subject area.
Over the next couple weeks, we’ll highlight each grade and showcase some of the photos from their trips. Students in grades 9 and 10 will go on their Week Without Walls excursions in April.
Grade 6 – Nurata, Uzbekistan
The 6th grade Week Without Walls began on the TIS campus. On Monday, September 23, students were outside of the walls of their regular classes and were involved in activities to prepare for their trip and to begin to understand how their small travel groups were going to work.
On Tuesday, the 42 sixth graders met at school early and then loaded themselves and their bags onto a bus that took them to the Narata area of Uzbekistan. The four days in the region were full, as students hiked, visited local schools, witnessed aspects of life in small communities, learned more about Uzbekistan’s mahalla system, played at the stream, camped in tents, ate traditional foods, and worked on different tasks in small groups. They recorded their experiences and feelings in writing and through drawing. Of course, students had fun just being with their friends and learning more about others in the grade, as well as about the six teachers who chaperoned the trip.
The follow-up surveys from the students indicated that the trip was a success. Students gave the week high marks. An even better indicator, however, were all of the big smiles that the teachers regularly saw on their students’ faces.
Photos by Mark Hughes, grade level coordinator for grade 6. For more photos from the Grade 6 Week Without Walls trip, visit the TIS Facebook page.