Experience Weeks

About Experience Weeks

Hands-on learning is an essential element of a Montessori education. That’s why we’ve created Experience Weeks as a time and place for students to research questions, think critically, communicate effectively, work collaboratively, and master core academic content.

By moving beyond the walls of the classroom to local institutions and landscapes of the North Shore students gain new, more in-depth ways to investigate, understand and learn.

Two of the six week sessions are included in each 1st-8th grade student’s tuition. Students may certainly register for additional weeks.

Experience Weeks are located at and travel from the Harborlight campus. We are pleased to have partnered with several community partners to enhance the students’ learning experience. Experience Weeks are for students in grades 1 to 9 who want to stretch themselves.


The six, five-day weeks coincide with both public and independent school calendars for 2022. We are updating our Experience Week Calendar for 2022 to align with our COVID-19 Re-Opening Plan.

Week 1:
February 21st through February 25th
Week 2:
March 7th through March 11th
Week 3:
March 14th through March 18th
Week 4:
April 18th through April 22nd
Week 5:
June 20th through June 24th
Week 6:
June 27th through July 1st

Learning Through Experience Weeks

Experience Weeks engage students and develop Four Deep Learning Skills: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity. The structure of these courses reflect a Montessori model of student-centered, interactive instruction that explores a particular course or topic in a 5- step cycle of learning that creates habits for future learning in college & career.

List of 5 items.

  • Interaction & Inquiry

    Students develop and ask questions about their experience as they learn new course content and use material and observation for – research methods, exploration of environment, or reinterpret an existing experience at a deeper level.
  • Reflective Observation

    Students receive non-evaluative feedback from teachers and experts in the field to summarize new information in an organized way. The experience and hands-on learning and of asking questions frames their thinking as they interpret and seek answers.
  • Conceptualization

    Students engage in project-based learning to expand their understanding of new concepts. They learn through collaboration and planning their activities.
  • Application

    Students apply their newly acquired skills and knowledge to the world around them. Taking the notes, sketches, and observations from their journal as a guide.
  • Assessment

    Students are evaluated at the end of their coursework. They are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills both effectively and creatively.

Popular Past Course Descriptions

List of 10 items.

  • Inland Explorers: Journey of Learning through Marsh & Meadow (Grades 1-3)

    The Japanese Paper Theater Story of the Sunflower inspires observation at the inland marsh and meadow. Lark Learning STEM staff guide the use scientific methods to test and make predictions and design an inland habitat for the Meadow Lark and follow interaction between various animal species. Use scientific methods to test and make predictions and design an inland habitat for the Meadow Lark and follow interaction between various animal species. Design a favorite creature and discover movement through synchronization experiments, and explore hands-on artistic 3D modeling concepts.
  • Coastal Creatures: Create 3D Prints with BlocksCAD! (Grades 4 - 8)

    Design and 3D print through coding with the BlocksCAD 3D modeling program, while studying the coastal ecosystem of Magellanic Penguins with the staff of Lark Learning STEM. Beginning with the Japanese Paper Theater Story of the Penguin nesting in South America, and observation of migration, seasonal habitats and life cycles of coastal creatures, employ the basics of design, coding logic and movement, and engineer solutions to support the penguin ecosystem as a final project.
  • Ancient Civilizations: Uncovering Greece and Egypt (Grades 1 - 3)

    Explore Ancient Greece or Egypt (choice based upon individual interests and/or past learning experiences). Explore and research ancient civilizations including- daily life, education, entertainment, economy and government. Create “artifacts” and other visual and performance art projects to complement this research. This Experience Week study will culminate in the creation of a “museum” showcasing projects and presentations.
  • Intensive Theatre Production: Harborlight Players (Grades 4 - 8)

    We return to Gloucester Stage Company (GSC) for an intensive two-week experience in theatre production, onstage and backstage. In addition to acting, students will participate in all aspects of production, including lighting and set design, costumes and props, rehearsing and performing. Actors, assistant directors, stage managers, designers, and marketing and sales are all part of what it takes to stage an original production, which is what the students will do on the GSC stage as the culmination of their theatre experience.

    Productions will take place on 3/20 at 7:00pm and 3/21 at 2:00pm.
  • Exploring Instrumental Music: Music Through Mentoring (Grades 1 - 3)

    Join the professional musicians of Harborlight’s music program for a week of solo and group music-making. Students currently taking instrumental lessons explore different styles of ensemble music and develop their technical and note reading skills. Those with little-to-no instrumental experience interact with a variety of instruments (piano, guitar, recorders, and percussion), to learn the basics of instrument playing and note reading, and small-group ensemble work. The week will culminate with a final performance.
  • Revolutionaries in the Art World: From Research to Practice (Grades 4 - 9)

    Learn about artists who made a huge difference to international culture. Using the Peabody Essex and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museums as our classrooms, we will explore the context – the art, time period and the social structures – in place at the time that these artists worked. Students will apply their studies and observations to hands-on art projects building off of the work they have studied.
  • The Earth Science of Geology: Exploration, Experimentation & Inspiration (Grades 1 - 3)

    Study geology through small group work, experiments, research, art, music and games. Field study will take place at Halibut Point State Park and the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Points of reference will include- rock formation study and specimen collection and classification. Mineral sketch books, rock painting and collage will allow students to discover rocks as an art medium and inspiration. Research and study of the economic impact of the granite industry on the North Shore will round out this interdisciplinary course.
  • At the Water’s Edge: Eco-Poetics, Eco-Art and Coastal Ecology (Grades 4 - 8)

    Join Salem Sound Coastwatch for a series of interactive field trips designed to immerse students in the study of coastal ecology. We will plant eelgrass, conduct water testing and engage in a variety of stewardship activities to improve the health of the coastal ecosystem. Students will be challenged to express their observations and awareness through poetry and art. This course aims to inspire caring and respect for the environment, stimulate dialogue and encourage children to think about the long-term sustainability of their environment.
  • The World Around Us: Embracing the North Shore (Grades 1 - 3)

    Take an in-depth look at our North Shore world, with its rich natural, cultural and human resources. Explore what makes the North Shore unique through a study of local biomes. This course will feature journaling, observation and reflection, and producing original art expressions. Bring a heightened awareness and perspective to the world we live in every day – gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of everything around us and a stronger sense of our place in the world.
  • Mapping our Backyard: The Art and Science of Topography (Grades 4 - 8)

    Study a variety of maps (physical, political, topographic, climate) and learn how they are used to display information about the world around us. Working on campus and around the North Shore, students will orientate themselves to the area and create a variety of maps as a group and individually. A culminating project will be creating topographical maps, learning to represent contour and other topographical features using different colors, shaded relief, and color gradients, employing the knowledge and experience they have gained throughout the week.

Request Information

For more information about Harborlight Montessori and our infant/toddler, preschool, elementary, or middle school programs, please make an appointment to visit our Beverly, MA campus. You can contact us here.

About Harborlight

Harborlight Montessori is an independent, co-educational, day school for children from infant-toddler through grade 8 that is committed to innovative teaching and learning.