Miscellaneous » J-Term 2014 » J-Term 2014

J-Term 2014

Read Bethany articles on:


Click on the links below to jump to course descriptions.

High School Teacher
Bicycling Josh Weaver; Michael Yeakey
Civil Rights in Chicago Eric Kaufmann
Computer Animation Benji Hurst
La Comunidad Cubana en Miami Craig Mast
Eat, Drink, Think John Mast
Leading the Next Generation Krysten Parson
Technical Theater Adam Graber Roth
Ukulele Choir Dale Shenk
Middle School  
Urban Jungle Beth Grieser
Drum Circle Stacey Farran/Sherry Good
Blast from the Past Juanita Hershberger
Food and Fitness Cheryl Mast
Poetry Matt Miller
All the World's a Stage Evie Nafziger
Rockets Calvin Swartzendruber
Glee Nathan Swartzendruber


High School Courses


Cycling is a lifetime activity that both a great source of exercise and a sustainable mode of transportation. This course included one week of class in January and a four-day, three-night self-contained biking and camping trip in June through beautiful northern Indiana and southern Michigan. Class time in January focused on bicycle riding, bicycle maintenance/safety, and training for cyclists of all kinds. Some highlights of the 225-miles June trip include Michigan’s Kal-Haven bike trail from Kalamazoo to South Haven, as well as the beaches and dunes of Lake Michigan’s eastern shore at Van Buren State Park and Warren Dunes State Park.


Civil Rights in Chicago

The first week in class focused on the history of the Civil Rights movement. During the second week the group traveled to Chicago, touring important civil rights markers serving with DOOR Chicago to learn about Chicago and do service projects.



Computer Animation

This course explored the historical progression of animation technology with the majority of time focusing on 2-D computer animation. Students used professional animation software to plan, develop, and create their own animation shorts films. Watch their animations.


La Comunidad Cubana en Miami

Students traveled stayed with hosts from a Spanish-speaking Mennonite congregation in Miami for ten days, learning about and interacting with the Cuban community in Little Havana. While the focus was on culture and using Spanish, students also served with DOOR Miami.



Eat, Drink, Think

Students learned more about the food we eat (where it comes from, how it is raised, health risks/benefits, and environmental effects) and experienced food preparation and eating in a fresh way as they read books; wrote in journals' discussed topics; prepared food; and visited local farms, markets, and stores.



Leading the Next Generation

For two weeks, students spent a fun-filled, action-packed time with Bethany's 4th and 5th graders, building relationships, planning fun events, and learning how to lead a group of young students and then traveling to Chicago and Camp Friedenswald, where they planned and participated in activities, leading small groups, teaching new concepts, and making many memories! Students learned to be creative and lead.



Technical Theater

Students gained an overview of the behind the scenes workings of a theater production and hands-on experience in constructing an entire set from the ground up. In the process they leearned to work with a variety of tools, paint, and technology, to create stage settings, lighting effects, sound effects, the language of the theater, shop procedures and safety, and basic construction/electrical/audio techniques for theater. The culminating project was helping to build the set for the high school musical production Just So.



Ukulele Choir

Students built and learned to play the ukulele.


Middle School Courses


Urban Jungle

Students learned some basic life skills such as how to change a car tire and check the fluids in your car, find the best prices when shopping for groceries or clothing, do laundry, or perform CPR.



Drum Circle

Students learned what the purpose and uses of the drum circle are in various cultures, how drums are made, the complexity of drum circle rhythms and explored related modern-day rhythm ensembles, such as marching drum lines and famous percussion ensembles like Stomp.




Blast from the Past

Students learned about the past as they baked bread, churned butter, made ice cream, sampled root beers, learned 50s dances, played old-fashion games, listened to Big Band music, critiqued TV shows and Western movies, visited a blacksmith, and ate at a 50s diner...and much more.



Food and Fitness

Students learned some new ways to exercise, talked about their health and how body and ind connect, where their food comes from.






Students learned that poetry captures experiences, so they began by creating unique experiences and then wrote poetry about them. Their activities included snowball fights, playing soccer, going out to a restaurant, shopping at the mall, tobogganing, going to a hockey game, watching movies, and more.





All the World's a Stage

Students used their imagination and dramatic skills as they played theater games, learn about improv, and work on dialogues and skits. They studied focus, expression, voice and movement.






Students built and safely launched model rockets, learning parts of a rocket, construction techniques (gluing, sanding, painting, and applying decals). They also used RockSim software to design and simulate the flight of more complex model rockets.




Students focused on pop music genre of the 20th and 21st century, discovering the difference between the “classical” and “pop” voice. They rehearse and perform several songs and recorded, mixed, and produced a soundtrack cd.