Students completed the final day of Transformations class by giving a newscast report on the volcano they created. Students reported the myth they wrote about how the volcano came to be as well as important facts like the latitude and longitude, which plate it sits upon, and when it last erupted. They also showed off the topographic maps they created. Students showed strong speaking skills, excellent comprehension of facts and vibrant personalities.
Students in Mrs. Price’s class had a chance to dig for artifacts today. Students came into the classroom amazed at the big tub of sand!
They couldn’t wait to get started, but first, Mrs. Price explained that archaeologists must be very systematic, so students broke the tub into evenly measured squares.
Of course, their archaeologic work was just beginning. They then had to piece together the fragments they found and decipher the meanings of this mysterious civilization.
Students had a a chance to showcase some of all they learned in the Animal Adaptations class. Parents and family were invited to hear these scientists give presentations on the following topics: animal name, taxonomy, life cycle, habitats and which adaptations their animal would need to survive in that habitat.
First, students had to decide how they would display their important information. Would it be a poster, a diarama, a book or something else?
It was then time to present the culmination of student learning to parents. Students spoke very clearly and with confidence, especially pronouncing difficult vocabulary words in their animals’ taxonomies. They should be very proud of all they have learned.
Students in Mr. G’s transformation class learned how to create their own topographical maps. Using clay, they sculpted a type of mountain or valley.
They then sliced the clay into sections, then drew each section concentrically onto a piece of paper.
The results created a topographic map that showed the elevation of each landform. It was interesting to see how the different shaped landforms translated to such different looking topographic maps.
Students can now fully comprehend how a smooth, gradual slope will show widely spaced lines and a steep slope will show closely spaced lines. Time to get them out hiking and navigating their own course!
In Mrs. Price’s Archaeology class, students worked on murals that helped to represent the civilization they created. Students invented a whole new civilization that incorporated the following elements: year, geography, history, clothes, food, homes, people, beliefs, art, social levels, government and a language that students invented on their own. Onto a slab of poured plaster, students used markers and watercolors to convey elements of their own civilization. Perhaps this archaeologic find will one day translate to future archeologists!
Students’ creativity, critical thinking and innovative ideas are showcased as well as their in-depth understanding of elements of cultures.
Yesterday’s Adaptations class explored how animals adapt to their environments by investigating what adaptations ducks need to float. Using a cotton ball as a model of a duck, students made a hypothesis whether a cotton ball would float when placed in water. Some students guessed that it would float and some guessed that it would sink. When they tried it, they all sank!
Students then added a bit of cooking oil to half of their cotton ball and we’re asked to reformulate their hypotheses. Depending on how much oil was added, some cotton balls sank, some floated and some flipped upside down. Students could see that ducks needed some type of oil on their feathers to stay afloat. They also thought it was quite funny that ducks would do underwater head stands without enough oil!
Finally, students coated their cotton ball entirely in oil. They then watched as they all floated. One student claimed, “I understand!” This experiment presented a concrete model for students to grasp the concept of a duck’s ability to adapt to its water environment.
We then took the knowledge one step further and watched what would happen to a feather soaked in water without any oil on it. It became completely drenched. When students applied oil to the feather, they watched as the water beaded up and essentially slid off the feather.
Students learned about a duck’s uropygial gland and how important it is for ducks to preen their feathers. If ducks did not do this, they would become waterlogged and sink.
Students continued to build models of their invented animals while they pondered what adaptations their animals will need to survive in the environment they have created for them. Will a dog fish adapt to a water or land environment? How will a raborse (a blend between a rabbit and horse) communicate with other members of its family? What protections will their species need? Will their species have one type of sense that is hyper developed? How will these animals adapt?
We’re looking forward to students’ final presentations next class to find some answers!
Students in Mr. G’s Transformations Class began working on creating their own volcanos! They created an imaginary volcano with a name, type of volcano (cinder cone, stratovolcano or shield), where it is located, complete with latitude and longitude, and which plate it sits on. In coming days, students will be giving their volcanoes eruptive histories and making newscasts reporting on volcanic activity.
Students have read several volcano myths and they are now writing their own! Stay tuned!
In this experiment for the Adaptations class, students explored the question, “Which kind of outer covering will keep and animal warmest, fur, feathers or skin?” Students were introduced to a scientific hypothesis. Most student hypothesized that fur would keep and animal warmest.
Students created 3 “animals” out of cups (graduated cylinders) with “fur” which was felt, feathers and “skin” which was plastic wrap.
We then plunged the cups into ice water and took temperature readings every five minutes.
The results were a surprise! Skin was actually the warmest, we discussed the concept of scientific variables and the class concluded that the extra amount of plastic wrap in the “skin” cup may have altered the results. This lead to a discussion on why scientific experiments need to be repeated often to obtain accurate results.
Mrs. Price’s class have been traveling back in time to explore the origins of ancient civilizations. They are becoming experts in the cultures of Ancient Rome, Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia. Students are incorporating their research of these cultures to create “time machine stories” where they go back in time and find themselves visiting another time and place, much like the beloved American Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne. Students needed to place themselves in one of these ancient cultures and create a fictional story using both their imaginations and their research.
Students are also learning about architecture and Greek columns: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian.
As a final project, students will be creating a new civilization. They will create a culture of their own design and set it in any time period they choose, while designing a system of government, history, art, beliefs, food, cultures, shelter, and clothing. They will represent these with plaster paintings.