I would like to use the time to talk in some depth about things that seem important. What is in mind is a sort of Chautauqua— that’s the only name that I can think of for it — like the traveling tent-show Chautauquas that used to move across America, […] an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer. 
From: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig, p.17.

Who: Fifth Grade Students
When: 1:00-1:15 daily.  Up to three presenters, each chautauqua will last from one to five minutes in length. Sign up is on the whiteboard.

Why/Purpose: to edify and entertain, to showcase our diverse interests and talents, to develop a strong sense of community and support, to seek positive change for ourselves and our community, and to build upon earlier conversations.
What: Chautauqua Ideas:

  • anything you are passionate about
  • play the piano, saxophone, violin, guitar etc..
  • read a story that you wrote
  • share a poem or a story you or someone you know wrote
  • share a podcast or video relative to fifth grade topics
  • read a page from your favorite book that demonstrates great writing
  • give a book talk so that others can see and benefit from your passion for reading
  • tell us about your Thinking Wall artifact
  • summarize a current event from a newspaper or news blog
  • show systems thinking examples from the real world
  • present a slide show on your favorite place, person, or thing
  • give examples or ideas concerning environmental stewardship
  • demonstrate a science experiment
  • Let us know what are you passionate about?
  • code, technology…
  • a place you visited
  • a story your grandma told you


Topics to name a few
Fibonacci, exponential growth, measurement and statistics used to communicate, multiplication algorithm in India or China, ancient counting systems, …
synergies in ecosystems, plants, water cycle, water systems, renewable energy, astronomy, Buckminster Fuller, Rachel Carson, George Washington Carver, …
 Indigenous cultures in North America past and present, European exploration and conquest, American revolution, civil rights, government,