The Q.U.E.S.T. curriculum is aligned with the Common Core State Standards.
It was developed by The Center for Gifted
Education at William and Mary in order to meet the needs of high ability learners.
*New QUEST parents: Click HERE for a link to the PowerPoint presentation that was shown at the Information Night on May 7th.
2012-2013 School year: Literary Reflections
While all four language arts strands of literature, writing, language study, and oral communication are integrated into this unit, the core of the unit involves students interacting with literature while enhancing reading comprehension and textual analysis skills. The literature selections include novels and short stories centered on the theme of change. We will begin the year by reading Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis.
The guiding theme of this unit is the recognition that change affects people and their relationships, as well as the world around them. The literature selections of the unit illustrate this theme for students. Unit activities engage students in discussion and writing about what they have read and in independent and group learning opportunities that promote skill development in vocabulary, grammar, persuasive writing, literary analysis, oral communication, and thinking. Students also engage in research on current issues and report findings in written and oral form.
Students will use the following strategies while reading:
Make connections to their own lives, other literature, and the world around them
Question before, during, and after reading
Infer from the text in order to create meaning and grasp the deeper essence of the text
Determine importance and purpose
Synthesize information by sifting and sorting through text
2013-2014 School year: Patterns of Change: A Language Arts Unit for High Ability Learners
The goals of the Language Arts units are to develop students' skills in literary analysis and interpretation, persuasive writing, linguistic competency, and oral communication, as well as to strengthen students' reasoning skills and understanding of the concept of change. The units engage students in exploring carefully selected, challenging works of literature from various times, cultures, and genres, and they encourage students to reflect on their readings through writing and discussion. The units also provide numerous opportunities for students to explore interdisciplinary connections to the language arts and to conduct research around issues relevant to their own lives.
The concept of cyclic patterns of change was chosen as the unifying theme for this unit. Selected literary works deal with cycles in nature, knowledge, history, and human life. Students are introduced to some of the important approaches and ideas of literary criticism. Students are encouraged to use journals, literature webs, essays, and visual projects to organize and express their ideas about various literary selections. Works studied in the unit include Conrad’s My Daniel, "The Helpful Badger" by Lawrence Yep, and poetry by Dickinson, Sandburg, Angelou, and Shakespeare.
2012-2013 School year: A House Divided?: The Civil War, Its Causes and Effects
The concept of cause and effect serves as a central organizing theme of this unit, which explores the events and perspectives leading to the American Civil War and the chronology and context of the war itself. Using primary source documents as a major resource, students investigate the social, political, and economic influences that were significant in this period of history. In addition, the unit focuses on particular individuals and groups and their contributions and responses to the events of the time.
Develop understanding of the concept of cause and effect and its relationship to events and eras in history
Develop reasoning skills with application to social studies
Develop interpersonal and social group process skills
Develop skills in historical analysis and source interpretation
Develop understanding of the causes of the Civil War, the major events and influential individuals of the period, and the complex reasons for the outcome
2013-2014 School year: The 1930s in America: Facing Depression
The social studies unit emphasizes primary source analysis, critical thinking, and concept development to help students develop understanding of high-level social studies content in key areas. Thus, the unit reflects the focus of national and state-level standards on historical thinking and research and on the integration of major concepts across disciplines.
This unit explores Depression-era America from the perspective of many different groups of people, utilizing a variety of primary sources to illustrate events and the social-political context. The concept of cause and effect is employed to support student understanding of the complexity of history. The unit emphasizes the interplay of changes in geography, government, and the economy, as well as the influence of particular individuals and groups, to deepen student understanding of the period.
2012-2013 School year: Acid, Acid Everywhere
This unit presents the structure of systems through chemistry, ecological habitats, and transportation. The unit poses an ill-structured problem that leads students into an interdisciplinary inquiry about the structure and interaction of several systems, centering around the study of an acid spill on a local highway.
Acid Acid Everywhere has been designed to introduce students to acid/ base chemistry in an engaging fashion. The problem-based learning format was chosen because students acquire significant science knowledge through solving an interdisciplinary, real-world problem. This format requires students to analyze the problem situation, to discover and select information that applies to the problem solution, and to obtain that information in a variety of ways. In addition to research, students will conduct experiments of their own design in order to generate useful data and to formulate possible problem solutions.
Understand the principles of acid/base chemistry
Understand and apply the basic principles of experimental design
Develop reasoning skills with application to science
Understand the concept of systems
2013-2014 School year: Electric City: A Problem-Based Unit
Electric City provides a creative and interdisciplinary approach to introducing students to electricity. In this simulated activity, a large recreational complex is being built in the middle of a city, and the students' role is to plan the site's electrical needs, as well as create additional backup plans. This real-world problem requires students to analyze the situation, determine what type of research is needed, conduct experiments, and evaluate solutions.
The Center for Gifted Education at William and Mary
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