Our Ellis Island simulation was a great success. We had immigrants from Russia, Poland, Italy, Greece, Finland and Germany arriving by ship. They had to pass through several stations to prove they would be strong, healthy, law-abiding and productive citizens of America before finally taking the oath of citizenship. Our students embraced their immigrant roles and loved every minute of this afternoon. Only a few had to be deported!
Since we are studying the Industrial Revolution, today we learned about the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in the late 1800’s. It was an engineering marvel at the time, and pretty impressive even by today’s standards! It is an incredible example of human ingenuity during an era of huge growth in the USA.
The kids then worked with a partner to try their engineering creativity. Their job was to use only straws and tape to build a bridge spanning 10 inches. We tested each bridge to see how much it would hold. In the end, they all learned some important strategies and had fun doing it.
This week we are spending some time delving into nonfiction books. As our students get older and become better readers they tend to focus most of their attention on reading fiction. This is fantastic, of course, but we also want to make sure they are getting exposure to the vast array of nonfiction resources available to them. We started this week with a discussion about what makes reading nonfiction different from reading fiction. We talked about the many features of nonfiction books that make them useful and easy to navigate, including the table of contents, the index, photographs and their captions, graphs and tables, labeled diagrams, text boxes, etc.
As a prereading activity, our students were given a nonfiction book and they were asked to look at the cover and flip through the pages. Without actually reading the text, we wanted them to first identify what they might learn from the book they were given. After this they were given some time to look through their book, selecting sections that they found interesting and eye-catching. They wrote down facts that they learned as they read.
It was interesting for them to realize that they were able to learn from and connect with almost any book placed before them. Many of them were given books that they would not normally choose, yet before long they were drawn into them and finding fascinating facts!
As part of our Human Body unit, the older kids researched medical discoveries and inventions. The students created a presentation to show what they had learned. We had such a great variety of formats: slideshows, books, posters, pamphlets and boards. They all worked so hard and and presented their work proudly and confidently. Here are a few photos.
The Older Kids did a fantastic job of researching ancient Roman inventions. They took the information they learned and wrote informative paragraphs. Then they worked with partners to create 3-dimensional models of their inventions. They really enjoyed tapping into their engineering and artistic minds! Collaborating with a partner to accomplish a goal is a skill we find extremely important, and one that will come in very useful in the future.
The Older Kids were able to go outside and run today before the air quality deteriorated. Thanks for sponsoring them! Here are some photos of Suzanne’s class.
Today the older kids took part in our very own Olympic Games! Here are the city-states from each class preparing for battle.
Let the games begin!
The Older Kids had the honor of delivering food and touring the to The Food Bank of Larimer County’s distribution center.