Curriculum in the humanities and sciences is organized around integrated themes or units. In an integrated study, children apply the processes and knowledge of many disciplines to develop an inclusive understanding of a subject. Topics from anthropology, history, geography, literature, mathematics, the sciences, sociology, and the arts may all be included. Ancona students learn how the different disciplines are connected and how a subject may be approached from many interrelated points of view. Teachers bring topics to life through hands-on resources, interesting activities, and individual projects.
Each unit has its own specific content objectives, but all units share certain fundamental characteristics. They teach the processes of learning: posing questions, designing investigations, researching primary and secondary sources, testing and revising conclusions, and presenting to an audience. They teach children to think.
The teacher gathers resources and plans the content, skills, and attitudes to be covered, but each unit takes on a direction of its own as students interact with the materials and the teacher responds to their questions and interests. Resources may include readings, photographs, guest speakers, films, artifacts, field trips, interviews, relevant software, and more. Experiments, cooking, arts, construction, building models, simulations, slide shows, dramatizations, reports, memory books, reflective journals, and role-plays are examples of activities and projects that might be included.
Unit work often culminates with in-depth student projects and celebrations that share learning with family and friends.