This month we finished up our discussion of Moonbird and the students were asked to use what they learned to pretend to interview a Scientist from the book about their work in preserving endangered species. From learning about this single bird, we have come to understand just a little bit more about what it means to survive in a changing world for both animals and people, and have come to appreciate more deeply the importance of biodiversity and protecting the environment.


We also started a new book this month, Letters to a Young Scientist, a memoir-type series of letters from one of the world’s most renowned and highly decorated scientists, a book which will encourage our young learners to pursue their scientific interests, while also giving them insight into what it means to be a scientist, how scientists think and work, and what ethics guide the work of scientists. This will allow us an opportunity to tie together a lot of what we have been learning and really approach the subject of science and being a scientist with a new depth of understanding.


In our current events class, we have been keeping up with the events surrounding the attacks in Paris, and the students have learned to talk about important but upsetting world events with candor and sensitivity. We have also been following very closely the story of refugees from Syria, how and where they are travelling, and the students have engaged in discussions about how to take moral responsibility to help refugees while protecting their host country’s safety. In their writing samples from this month, you can read what they wrote to their own representatives in the US government about accepting Syrian refugees.


We have just finished up a lengthy writing project about persuasive writing, and we will now move into how to write a personal narrative, which really just means a story about oneself. The students will follow the writing process all the way through, and incorporate some of what they have learned from the memoir-style Letters to a Young Scientist as well. I am very much looking forward to seeing what they choose to write about.