While you find the basic elements of any elementary classroom, reading, writing, and math, the class also does a great deal of science, social studies, and art. At times the subjects are taught in isolation, but they are also often integrated and worked into a theme that lasts anywhere from a month to a whole semester, based on the students’ interests and needs. Themes have included geology, ancient cultures, ecosystems, personal history, and a unit on the history of the United States based on the work of Howard Zinn.
There is a strong emphasis on community-based education and the outdoors, so the class takes frequent field trips that relate to the current theme, including many excursions to the library to do research, and can often be found working outdoors. Students work on independent research projects at least once in the school year, where they are encouraged to do an in-depth study on something they are passionate about, then bring it back to the group to teach the rest of the class what they learned through an interactive presentation.