Well we’ve reached the end of our first semester in Level 7 and January was one of our most productive months yet. All the students are doing more writing everyday as we explore the exciting topics in Level 7 Science, Social Studies and Reading. We are reaching the end of our first major project in Research class, in which the students designed their own dinosaur museums or zoos.
We started our month in Science with a lesson on fossils. This was an overlap for the students as we had previously learned about fossils in our dinosaur research. We demonstrated how scientists gain information from fossils by making imprints into clay. We have started a unit on Earth Science, which covers earthquakes, volcanos, the inside of the earth and erosion. In another demonstration, the students designed their own seismometers to measure the magnitude of earthquakes. We simulated the earthquakes by shaking desks.
In Social Studies, we learned about natural disasters and how cities make disaster plans. We also did a lesson about rivers, writing about the different ways people use rivers. We ended our month writing a short report on the chapter of our choice. The students are learning how to summarize information into a short report. Our writing sample from Jerome this month is a report on the mountain states of America.
Reading and Writing
Our reading was also themed around natural disasters. We read a great story about an earthquake in San Francisco. For our journal that week, the students wrote about an earthquake, using the format of a time sequence which was used in the story. Our sample from Jonathan this month shows the skill of writing a story with a clear sequence of events. We read an informational text about Texas tornados and a journal of an Antarctic explorer. In our writing, we have been focusing on how to structure paragraphs, how to summarize information and how to sequence our ideas.
In our research class this month, the students had time to work on a project where they designed their own dinosaur museum or zoo. We discussed how museums present information, and the students researched dinosaurs from library books. They needed to include seven different types of dinosaurs, with information that they would provide on plaques. The students will be presenting their projects to their classmates as we work on public speaking skills in the next semester.