February Un-Break


Title & Teachers

Course Description


The Ghosts of New York: Exploring the History of Green-wood Cemetery.

w/ Brian & Michael Brady

We are going to briefly introduce you to the permanent residents of Greenwood Cemetery (like Bill the Butcher, Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Horace Greeley, Civil War generals, baseball legends, politicians, artists, entertainers and inventors) and learn about Brooklyn's role as a battle site in the Revolutionary War (first major battle of the Civil War).  On the final day, we’ll go on a trolley tour through Greenwood cemetery. 



w/ Melanie & Tiffany

We are hosting a discussion about the journey from being a black girl to becoming black woman.  We will be featuring topics on colorism, shifting, and upward mobility.  There will be videos, discussions, and a panel discussion with some VERY exciting surprise guests.


Dissections & Biodiversity

w/ Rabi & Marc

"Are we ever going to dissect a frog?" If you've asked this question, the answer is YES! In this mini-course we will dissect six different things (some whole animals, some body parts like eyeballs). You will get to see what the different organs (like heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and intestines) look like on the inside. We will also learn about how the different types of animals are related, by comparing them to each other and to fossils. On Friday we will take a field trip to the American Museum of Natural History, to tour the halls of biodiversity and dinosaurs. At the museum you will see lots of different preserved animals, including the ones you dissected, and all their relatives.


NOTE that dissection means cutting up dead animals. While it is a valuable and time-honored way of learning biological science, if the idea of cutting up dead animals makes you feel bad or squeamish, this course is not for you!


Miyazaki: A Master of Japanese Animated Films

w/ Jeff

Do you love such films as Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle?  How about Ponyo and The Secret World of Arrietty? If you haven’t heard of these but you love Japanese anime and great movies in general, then join this class.  We’ll watch 2 or 3 of Miyazaki’s movies and discuss his storytelling approach and techniques, his environmental and anti-war themes, and his powerful characters.  We’ll also do some quick research on Miyazaki himself and learn about some of his technical skills.  As for writing, we’ll look at some movie reviews and movie industry websites and then we’ll practice producing movie reviews ourselves.  Finally, we’ll go to the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens on Friday, February 22; at the Museum, we’ll learn lots about the history of movie-making and its technological background.


Wildlife Conservation

w/ Ashley

In this 3 day mini course you will learn about different efforts being made around the world to protect wild animals and their habitats.  We will watch movies and have discussions about animal conservation, poaching, and whether or not we think it is ethical to keep wild animals as exotic pets. We will take a trip to the zoo on Thursday and on Friday you may get the opportunity to learn how to handle a snake.


"The Power of Persuasion"
An Introduction to Public Speaking

w/ Nancella

Persuasive speaking builds leadership skills and self-confidence. In this course we will be watching great speeches as well as learning & giving great speeches. We will build skills for persuading an audience into personal action or supporting a worthy cause. If you’re not afraid to stand up in front of people to speak or you want to work up the nerve to, join us.


Perspectives of Music

w/ Kris & Derek

Have you ever wondered how music has changed over the course of history?  In "Perspectives of Music" we will listen to a wide variety of musical styles, and learn how to write about them as if we were real music critics.  Students in this class should be willing to listen to everything from Miles Davis to Led Zeppelin, and everything in between!  As we listen to the different types of music that have been popular through history, we will also learn how to write about music.  This class will end with a trip on Friday through the NYC subway system where we will seek out musicians, listen to their music, and end with seminar discussion about what we observed.


Visual Journal: Creating an Artistic Diary

w/ Rachel & Maura

Do you like to express yourself with art and in words? Love writing down your thoughts and doodling in the margins? Then this course is for you!

Then join Rachel and Maura as we create Artist Books using paint, poetry and other sculptural art materials. Using Frida Kahlo's inspirational diary as a guide, you'll come away from this course with a beautiful journal full of images and words that represent and reflect you. Expect workshops, critiques and brainstorms to shape your final product. We will be constructing the journals on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday we will go on a trip to the Center for Book Arts to take a look at examples of how books can be ART.


The Culture of Basketball

w/ Dave Weber

Basketball is not just a sport. It is a multi-billion dollar industry. It influences art and culture on a global scale. It is studied and analyzed by statisticians and and rocket scientists (really it is!). It is the subject of great novels, and poems, and films. And it is a lot of fun to play. This course will investigate basketball in an academic way through a variety on lenses. And oh yeah, they’re definitely be some time each day to hoop.


Woman Up!

w/ Tanisha, Evening, and Valerie

"I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves."
-Mary Wallenstonecraft


This mini course is designed to open up a dialogue about empowering ourselves and the women in our lives. It will include:

·         a daily self defense class

·         a spoken word workshop with a guest artist

·         a safe sex workshop

·         group discussions

·         group projects to showcase around the school


While this course focuses on female empowerment, we encourage both males and females to participate.


You Are What You Eat

w/ Lisa Hall & AAden

Hey! Are you really going to eat that? Do you even know where that’s been?


Join Lisa Hall and AAden as we examine the relationships we have with the food we eat.  We’ll spend 3 days tasting, preparing and exploring the food we eat in school and at home. Our mini-course will include a trip to Brooklyn Kitchen to take a cooking class in a professional kitchen, a trip to the school cafeteria to learn about what goes into our school lunch, a tour of the finest neighborhood eateries, and a potluck lunch where we share our favorite home-cooked recipes and dishes.


Student participants must be prepared to arrive on time every day, contribute a dish to our potluck, and to share stories, experiences, and recipes.


Introduction to Ballet and Modern Dance

w/ Lisa Mazzariello

In this intensive dance workshop you will learn the basics of classical ballet and modern dance.  We will spend the morning working on technique and the afternoon working on choreography (mine and yours).  By the end of our 12 hours together you will have a working knowledge of dance vocabulary, technique and history.   We will also have a few dances to show our friends. Come prepared to dance in comfortable and form-fitting (but not revealing) clothing. Experienced dancers and beginners are all welcome!


Lego Robots

w/ Corinne & Michael Buchney

Do you love Legos? Have you always wanted to build your own robot? In this three-day mini-course, you will learn to build and program a Lego NXT Robot. You’ll work with a team to construct your robot and then learn how to program your robot to complete tasks and compete against other teams. Are you up to the challenge? Whose robot will reign supreme?!


Yoga Chill and Meditation

w/ Malcolm

Are you ready to get your zen on? In this very relaxed and peaceful atmosphere, students will not only learn, but also experience the basics of yoga and meditation.  We will explore many different types of meditation.  We will practice several forms of yoga.  We will discuss the meaning of happiness and how we can find it within ourselves. You will learn visualization techniques and watch the DVD "The Secert".  On Friday we will be atking a trip to a meditation center!!  So if you are stressed out or just looking to become one with yourself or whatever, this is the one for you. We will also listen to some pretty funky grooves


The History and Manufacture of Chocolate

w/ Justianna

During this three day course, we will learn science(!) history (!) and culinary arts (!) as we trace the development of one of the crops most beloved to many of us: the cacao plant.  If you want to learn about all things chocolate, this course is for you.  We will end each day of the unbreak on a class trip, so don’t sign up for this course unless you are comfortable on the subway, as you will be dismissed from Manhattan or DUMBO each day. You will need comfortable shoes and to be comfortable walking, lunch or money for lunch each day, and an open mind and an adventurous palate.

You will leave this class with:

·         A knowledge of the social and political history of chocolate

·         A better understanding of the geography of South America

·         An understanding of the difference between raw foods and processed foods

·         A taste of both traditional and untraditional prepared chocolate

·         The chemical explanation for why people love chocolate (!)

·         At least one chocolate recipe that you can try at home


Carpentry, Woodworking and Set Design

w/ Lindsay

"Have you ever wanted to learn to use a hammer?  Screwdriver?  Measuring tape?  Do you want to know how to read or write a blueprint?  Well, now is your chance.  In this class we will be doing carpentry and woodworking.  We will also help design and build a 10-foot tall moving balcony that will be used as a set in our production of Romeo and Juliet.  We also may get a chance to work with set design experts on a field trip to Makeville Studio.  Come get creative and build something! 


*You will need signed permission from parents or guardians to use some of the tools. 


Hispanic Film

w/ César

Hispanic film is a class where you will learn how to speak and write, in a well informed way, about movies. We are going to view several films and compare them. Also we are going to use some still cameras to photograph images from different angles. The angle of a camera is one of the most important things to get the effect that the director is looking for while recording a film. We will explore how these films have been recorded and if the theme have been well developed using the correct images.



w/ Rosette & Michelle

Are you competitive?  Are you looking to be more active?  Spend the week in the gym!!!


We will spend Wednesday morning teaching students the basic skills of volleyball/badminton, with the possibility to use the weight room if it is available.   After lunch, we will show an inspirational, sports-themed movie in a classroom.


On Thursday and Friday we will play TOURNAMENT STYLE in rotating teams, also followed by a movie in the afternoon.  May the best team win!!!



-Students must wear sneakers and clothes appropriate for gym. 

-Students must have a signed permission slip in order to use the weight room.