School-Wide Topic Units

Science and social studies are taught in school-wide units each year. Students study several topics in each area, and the topics repeat on a four-year cycle. In order to engage students in higher levels of thinking, Rivendell students explore universal concepts that connect these different topics through the process of questioning. Topics are woven into other content areas such as reading, writing and mathematics in an interdisciplinary format. Concept-based learning allows students to make connections in their learning, increasing opportunities for deeper thinking and creativity.

Sample Universal Concepts (one per year):
Change • Exploration • Order vs Chaos • Power • Systems • Conflict • Force and Influence • Patterns • Structure • Relationships

Generalizations about universal concepts are developed by students and used for reflections about learning.