Houston is home to one of the largest museum districts in the nation and PS is located right in the heart of it. Our goal is to one day be featured as an official Museum of Learning in the Houston Museum District but until that happens, we will continue to create our own Presbyterian School Museums. Early Childhood grades have end-of-year events designed to showcase authentic student work and allow parents a peek at their child's experience in the classroom. Every Lower School grade determines a focus, completes research, learns from local experts, and then designs, creates, and installs their own grade level museums on campus each Spring. The year-end exhibitions in Middle School focus on showcasing how student voice, choice and agency play a pivotal role in driving the ideas, experiences and learning of our students in both academic and elective classes.
Lights, Camera, Action! (PK3)
Lights Camera Action invites parents to join us for a glimpse of our early literacy storytelling curriculum in action. Our Early Childhood teachers use the Rice Literacy Classroom Storytelling Project throughout the year to enhance the development of reading and writing for young children. Their stories are a window into the imaginative world of the young child and tell us more about who they are. Even before they know how to read or write, through the dictation and dramatization of their own stories, our PK3 students are empowered as they see their words come to life. Lights, Camera, Action! showcases the dramatization of student dictated original stories.
PreK Airlines Parade (PK4)
The PreK Airlines parade celebrates PK4's year-long imaginary journey visiting countries around the world. Students choose a favorite country to represent in the parade. Students line the sidewalk outside of the School and parents drive by to see the students dressed in their costumes. At the conclusion of the parade, parents gather in the backyard to hear students sing a few songs that celebrate their travels.
The power of storytelling is explored at each grade level in Early Childhood through the use of the Rice Literacy Classroom Storytelling Project. Through the art form of storytelling, children are empowered by their own imagination. Children develop an understanding that their spoken words have meaning and value as they dictate their own original stories and act them out with their classmates. Kindergarten Theater is the culmination of three years of of storytelling study in Early Childhood. Each Kindergarten class takes the storytelling process to the next level by collaboratively writing an original play based on the School's core values. Students create a story with a clear beginning, middle and end, in addition to presenting a problem with a resolution through well-developed character dialogue. Kindergarten Theater is a comprehensive production in which students design sets and costumes and perform their story in Grand Hall in a truly authentic display of student learning. Our students' pride and ownership in taking their story from an idea to a performance is a joyful sight to behold.
Biome Museum (1st Grade)
Do you enjoy visiting a Natural History Museum? Then you won’t want to miss First Grade's interactive Biome Museum. First Grade is traveling the world for a months-long study of the Earth's biomes. Each student chooses a biome to research, makes use of iPads and apps, and learns how to differentiate between fact and fiction as they discover more about their chosen biome. The study culminates in individual creations of a biome and native animal to be put on exhibit. Students also write an informative speech that is recorded to accompany their project. Be sure to check out the Biome Museum - you’ll have an ecospheric good time!
Farm to Table Museum (2nd Grade)
Are you curious about where our food comes from? Then you won’t want to miss Second Grade’s Farm to Table Museum. Mosey on down to the Farm to Table Museum where Second Grade students present their knowledge of the ways natural resources are harvested, stored, processed, packaged, sold, and consumed. Students are learning about the local and global communities in which they live and their roles as citizens in those communities. By studying the process of how food goes from farm to table, students learn about managing natural resources and how individuals and businesses contribute to a community. Y’all come visit soon, ya hear?
Great Moments Wax Museum (3rd Grade)
Have you ever wished you could meet a famous figure from the past? Well, at the Great Moments Wax Museum you can! Third Grade students work to expand their knowledge of famous historical events and figures. Students choose a person from history to research and bring to life in the Wax Museum. Whether it’s a famous athlete, civil rights activist, author, explorer, or chef, students work hard to personify these individuals in appearance, speech, and form. Stop by the Great Moments Wax Museum to meet our famous characters and learn about their lives and accomplishments. This is one great moment you can’t miss!
Texas Museum (4th Grade)
What makes Texas so great? Come find out at the Texas Museum! 4th grade students focus on a year-long study of Texas history, beginning their studies in the Paleoamerican time period and continuing to current day events in their home state. Students pick individual research topics about a person, place, or event that helped shape Texas. They learn the steps of researching, taking notes, outlining, and writing a research paper. Students also create an accompanying visual representation of their choice. Drawing upon the experience of museum experts, including faculty and staff from the Glassell School and Museum of Fine Arts, students learn how to put together and install their own museum to showcase their visual projects. From determining the layout and design of their museum to serving as docents, Fourth Grade students create a true Texan experience through and through complete with a special Texas program for parents.
Human Impact Museum (5th grade)
Students begin taking science as a daily period in fifth grade, so as such, the focus of their museum is a science related topic. Taking a cue from Presbyterian School's motto, fifth graders dig into how humans have a responsibility as Children of God to "respect the environment". Students select a current issue that has had an effect on the environment to research, then they are asked to think creatively about solutions that could reverse the impact humans have had, and finally they choose a way to present their research and conclusions to their peers at an "Environmental Summit." 5th graders capitalize on the learning of the previous year using the same steps of researching, note taking, outlining, and writing a research paper. They also tap into the agency they've developed throughout their lower school experience to effectively choose from the various methods of presentation they have been exposed to from the previous four years. Fifth Grade students create a compelling showcase of unique responses to real-world, current events in environmental science. What will you decide to do to help our world?
PS Pop-Up Museums (6th Grade)
The challenge presented to 6th grade students is to collaborate on designing and creating Pop-Up Museums for the community. Before creating their own museums, students engage in a rigorous design-thinking process that includes research, brainstorming, interviewing, fact-gathering, rapid prototyping, and final product synthesis. Students visit several museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, The Contemporary Craft Museum, and the National Museum of Funeral History. After their initial field research students pitch ideas for their museums to Head of School, Dr. Carleton who chooses which museums are finally created. What emerges each year after a rigorous design thinking process are incredibly meaningful and diverse museum experiences for both the museum creators and their museum consumers. Pop-up museums have included Toys through Time Museum, Celebrate You Museum, PS History Museum, Music Museum and Sensory Overload Museum.
Fine Arts Exhibition (7th Grade)
7th grade is the first year students have the opportunity to take fine arts electives. Electives are varied and open up new artistic avenues to explore. Students discover if they enjoy 3-D art more than drawing, playing guitar more than singing, as they have the opportunity to decide where to invest their artistic energy. At the Fine Arts exhibition, students display this array of offerings to their families and give 6th grade students a view of what is to come. Students present their experiences of these electives through spoken presentations, performance demonstrations, and their products on display.
STEAM Museum (8th Grade)
Consider the words of Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, investor, and philanthropist, “The best museums and museum exhibits about science or technology give you the feeling that, hey, this is interesting, but maybe I could do something here, too.” The eighth grade hosts a museum that allows younger students the chance to interact and learn more about scientific principles in physics, biology, chemistry, and earth science. Students select a scientific topic, research their topic, design an experiment and collect data in order to present their findings to the broader school community.