Young Explorers

Preschooler measuring boot

What to expect from Young Explorers

In our Preschool through Kindergarten, purposefully small classes, students receive individualized attention and learn by doing, rooted in strategic play and exploration.

The Young Explorers Experience

At Summers-Knoll, Preschool through Kindergarten teachers work strategically to develop a stimulating environment where children experience multiple activities. On any given day, students are in a small group working with the teacher to understand the plot of a story, while another group draws or writes about a trip to the local creek to test water quality,  Our Young Explorers also experience Latin, music, and art from our specialist teachers. Parents play a significant role in the classroom by reading to the class, supporting projects such as Festivals of Light, and joining the class on a wide range of field trips.  


We spend much time supporting students to learn their strengths and identify their opportunities for growth in and out of the classroom with an appropriate yet rigorous academic curriculum. We emphasize learning to know yourself, making friends, and working in a community through play and discovery.  Additionally, appropriate academic skills are introduced and supported through play and discovery.  We aim to support children in developing their independence while learning to collaborate with peers. 

Festivals of Light

By taking an interdisciplinary approach to learning about light, as a cultural and scientific phenomenon, preschoolers’ imaginations and natural curiosities about the physical world are nurtured. Over the course of 8 weeks, in conjunction with the season of winter, students learn about how light is an integral part of many holiday celebrations throughout the world. Along with singing songs about light, they reflect upon their own “inner light” that is shared through kind words, thoughts, and acts of kindness during mindfulness exercises. They use scientific inquiry, observation, and investigation to explore the impact light has on living and nonliving things, and they study the work of artists who use light and shadow. The preschoolers, themselves make shadow puppets and discover – through playing with light and shadow – a new way to create characters and stories. 


Storytelling is an ancient practice that builds community and honors each individual within a community. During their exploration of how to bring stories alive through retelling their favorite stories, Young 5s and Kindergarteners build reading fluency and comprehension skills as they create video and audio productions of fables and folktales from diverse cultures. They learn about storyboarding from a local author, and they write and draw the pages or storyboards for the sequences of stories. They create masks of characters, write dialogue, and act out stories. Ultimately, they discover how stories are both within them and all around them: in Latin class, they read and discuss classical mythology; they take field trips to learn about animals, which are central to many stories; and they visit local theaters to see how stories are brought to life on stage. 

Meet Our Young Explorers Teachers

Explore our Signature Academic Programs

Preschool – Kindergarten
Through exploration, experimentation, and play, our preschool students find deep understanding in appropriate academic and social learning environments.

1st – 4th Grade
Our lower school students continue their interdisciplinary core subject discoveries with a focus on collaboration and independence.

5th – 8th Grade
Our Upper School students are prepared for success in high school, college, and life. Our program culminates in eight 21st century proficiencies by creating an instructional program so that students can apply what they have learned.

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