Miscellaneous » J-Term 2015 » J-Term 2015

J-Term 2015

Read local media articles on:


Click on the links below to jump to course descriptions.

High School Teacher
Appalachian Sojourn Sherry Good
Bicycle Touring Josh Weaver; Michael Yeakey
Civil Rights in Chicago Eric Kaufmann
Computer Animation Benji Hurst
Forensic Science Calvin Swartzendruber
Baseball Brent Reinhardt
Spanish Language Trip Craig Mast
Technical Theater Dennis Landis
Ukulele Choir Dale Shenk
Middle School  
Games Galore Beth Grieser
3D Art Juanita Hershberger
Food and Fitness Cheryl Mast
Experiencing Poetry Matt Miller
The Voice Nathan Swartzendruber
Word Crazy Evie Nafziger
Feathered Frenzy Stacey Farran
Meat: Farm to Table Peter Shetler
Axis and Allies Hank Willems



High School Courses

Appalachian Sojourn

Students spent one week study West Virginia history, particularly as it related to the mountainous mining communities. The second week was spent with SWAP (Serving With Appalachian People) in Elkhorn, West Virginia, where the group immersed themselves in Applachian culture and history. Several days were spent helping in a home remodeling project but the group also toured local sites and met people who shared stories from local history and culture, including a private concert of original folk/bluegrass music by Alan Cathead Johnston. Two favorites were Appalachia Is My Name and Muddy Waters, the latter describing the devasting floods in 2001 and 2002 (click on links to listen).





Bicycle Touring

Note: this class meets one week in January and one week in June. Cycling is a lifetime activity that is both a great source of exercise and a sustainable mode of transportation. This course will include one week of class in January and a four-day, three-night self-contained cycling and camping trip in June through beautiful northern Indiana and southern Michigan. January sessions included time for worship, reflection, and research, as well as planning the bicycle tour (meal and camping logistics), bicycle maintenance/safety, and training for cyclists of all ability levels. The four-day trip in June plans to cover approximately 225 miles. Some highlights of the trip include Michigan’s Kal-Haven bike trail from Kalamazoo to South Haven, as well as views of Lake Michigan’s eastern shore at two beautiful Michigan State Parks: Van Buren State Park and Warren Dunes State Park.



Civil Rights in Chicago

The first week students learned about the history of the Civil Rights movement. During the second week, students participated in a four-day trip to Chicago where they toured important civil rights markers and then connected with current civil rights issues as they participated in the Chicago DOOR service program.





Computer Animation

Students explored the historical progression of animation technology. However, most class time focused on 2-D computer animation and using professional animation software for students to plan, develop, and create their own animation shorts films. View their animation projects online.


Forensic Science

Students learned the use of science and technology in forensic testing and analysis, and the value of forensic analysis in criminal, civil, and environmental investigations. They collected fingerprints and analyzed them using software from the FBI, collected and analyzed their own DNA, tested arson samples, toured a crime lab and the local morgue, and much more. Guest speakers included a police detective/evidence technician and the Elkhart County Coroner.




Geography and History of Baseball

 Students learned the history and geography of America's oldest sports as the watched several baseball movies, including Ken Burns' miniseries exploring baseball history, and visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. They also create a model franchise, including designing a stadium and uniforms, and presented to a panel of local sports journalists. Dan Bodiker (Pictured) also shared about the history and meaning of some of baseball hats from his vast collection.


 Group at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Exploring the women in professional baseball exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Spanish Language Trip

Met on campus January 12-16 and travels June 2-18 (tentative). Students who have taken at least two years of Spanish have the opportunity to participate in a trip to Paraguay. The purpose of this trip is to cultivate a deeper appreciation of languages and cultures and build relationships with the wider Christian communities in these two countries. In June, during the first week and a half we will visit Paraguay’s capital, Asunción, and the cities that surround the capital. We also travel north into the Paraguayan Chaco to visit three of the major Mennonite colonies. In Asunción students live with host families and attend afternoon classes at the Alberto Schweitzer School. For our last week we will travel to other parts of Paraguay including the Jesuit ruins and Iguazu Falls.



Technical Theater

Students leaned the behind-the-scenes workings of a theater show as they created stage settings, lighting effects, and sound effects for the winter show Radium Girls. They also toured other theaters in the community to learn about what happens behind the scenes and attended a local theatrical performance.




Ukulele Choir

Students built, studied, and learned to play their own ukulele.



Middle School Courses


Games Galore

The class played different types of games (card, board, dice, strategy, group), learned where they originated and the strategies needed to win! Each student also designed and created a board game.





 3-D Art

Students wove a wicker basket and designed and created original pieces such as 3 D block word, duct tape wallet or purse, paper mache bowl, or a shoe bookend. Students held an art show to display their work at the end of the course.


Food and Fitness

Do you know where your food comes from? Do you know what a reasonable portion of chips is? What is your overall fitness level? Have you ever wondered if you can cure headaches with peppermint oil? This J-term explored such questions and several forms of fitness by attending local fitness classes, including yoga, zumba, and tabata. Students learned where their food comes from and cooked some alternative foods that enhance overall health.




Experiencing Poetry

Good poetry pays attention to the unique quality of everyday experiences that we enjoy. It finds the joy in sports, the deliciousness of great food, the exhilaration of triumph and wraps them with words. This class experienced such things as snowball fights, floor hockey, speed ball, trips to the mall, watching sports or movies, and listening to music. Then they capture the memories in poems.





The Voice

 Students explored solo voice performance, developing skills to sing in front of others, gain stage confidence, prepare for an audition, and critique performances from the “greats.”










Word Crazy

Students played and worked with words through word games, puzzles, and stories that teased the imagination and creativity. Students wrote riddles, mini-mysteries, reader’s theater, and character sketches.




Feathered Frenzy

This J-Term class was all about birds! They learned about Midwestern birds, had expert guest presenters, built birdhouses and birdfeeders to take home, and learned to identify some of Goshen’s winter resident birds by sight and sound as they bundled up for some local bird watching excursions.




Meat: Farm to Table

Students learned about the cultural, environmental, health, economic and ethical aspects of raising meat animals around the world and in different environments and took a look at the “meat industry” from factory farms to small farms to hobby farms and backyard production. Students experienced butchering and packaging chicken, sheep, and pigs -- to see how it is done, where different cuts come from and how to use the whole animal. They processed meat by brining, smoking and roasting, and made sausage.




Axis and Allies

Students learned about World War II from the unique perspective of being in charge of the vast armies that covered the earth as they learned to play the board game Axis & Allies. In the process they were able to change history, learn causes of the conflict and how it may have been avoided.