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Sixth Grade Social Justice Study

May 2, 2022 | Melissa McCallihan


Life on the Syrian border. The welfare of children in this country. Animal testing by cosmetic companies. These are just three of the subject areas sixth grade students are passionate about. Students researched and wrote about a social justice issue to prepare for a Social Justice Event happening Wednesday, May 11, on the fourth floor.

According to Chip Wood in his book Yardsticks, this age group has a great sense of justice. They are incredibly moved and eloquent about the injustice of the world around them. Writing about it, rapping about it, and creating around it gives these students a voice for their feelings and emotions. 

What will you see and hear if you attend this event? You’ll see inspired students who want you to know they have something to say about the injustices they see and read about. They will show this in their table displays which will include excerpts from the essay, their poetry and raps and the Calligram artifact they created. You’ll hear their emphatic and passionate voices encouraging you to take part in their cause. Then they will challenge you to do something. Each student has prepared an exit ticket if you will. A call to “do” something–write your legislators, join a cause, donate funds. 

As sixth grader Tristan Suarez wrote:“I would advise you to be an upstander for the greater good. Some of the people in the world are helping to solve problems like this, and you should do the same.”

Join us:

Wednesday, May 11, 2022


Fourth Floor of Mustard Seed School

We are asking visitors to wear a mask. 

Melissa McCallihan

Teacher, Grade 6; Science Grades 6-8

Teaching children to take risks and fail well is important to Melissa McCallihan, who has taught for over 30 years. She believes children learn as much through their failures as they do through their successes. She celebrates both in her classroom. In collaboration with the middle school director, art teacher, and other fourth and fifth grade teachers, Mrs. McCallihan has been instrumental in developing the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) program, an extension of the Lower School’s Shared Space model. “STEAM is where students solve problems and sometimes get it wrong,” says Mrs. McCallihan when asked about risks and failing well. “Students need to learn how to do that with grace, and to try again with grit and determination.” Mrs. McCallihan currently teaches sixth through eighth grade science.

Mrs. McCallihan cares deeply about relationships with her colleagues, students, and families. She works hard to make and maintain connections on a personal and professional level. And follows the mantra “Worship God, Love All.”

When not at school, you can find Mrs. McCallihan searching out a fantastic restaurant or hidden sight to see in New York City.

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