Bringing Learning to Life
Every semester at Talisman is designed around a specific theme meant to reinforce our learning and help bring our academics to life.
We approach school around these themes to connect students to practical reasons for learning. Our multi-sensory approach engages the students and makes the learning more “real”. We combine the academics with extracurriculars and design two weeklong trips each semester around these themes.
For instance, we might learn about insects in science, find them on a beautiful waterfall hike that weekend, and learn in social studies the role insects played in the death of Civil War soldiers.
Semester Themes for 2015 / 2016 School Year
Fall 2015 Theme: Appalachia’s Role in American History
Spring 2016 Theme: World and Community Citizenship
Our semester themes guide our academics, activities, and two week-long trips, one of which is to visit a location and the second of which is more adventure-based. Both trips provide our students with something to look forward to, reinforce learning and cultural experiences, and purposely stretch the comfort zone of our students.
Off-campus trips are both focused on academics and personal development. They are designed to help students take on increasing responsibility for their needs and the group as they gain community and independent living skills, while building confidence through outdoor skills and development of social competence.
Examples include packing and unpacking gear, sharing group chores like collecting firewood or building a tarp structure and keeping track of personal items. During trips, students remain in their small learning groups and strengthen their social bonds through shared experiences.
Students travel by bus in-between destinations and sleep at campsites set up by the group as a team. On the bus, students have free time for reading, music, etc. but may also have some group activities such as listening to a book on tape as part of a school project.