Now, we’ve created a PowerPoint presentation for our science journals! Still the same great content, but in an easy to display presentation. Depending on your preference, you may either want to print out our original science journal prompts to create booklets for your students or you may want to display the PowerPoint presentation and have students write their journals in their notebooks or type them out. Either way it’s a great way to get your students writing, reflecting, researching, and communicating during your science classes!
Sometimes it feels that no matter how well I try to organize lessons, units, and long range plans, there never appears to be enough hours in the school day to cover all the curriculum expectations! One of the best strategies that I have learned as a teacher is to take a cross-curricular approach when planning activities, lessons, and units. A great way to cover many English Language Arts expectations is by integrating writing into the content areas; in this case, journal writing can be integrated into the science classroom.
We’ve created a student science journal with 52 prompts to help you integrate writing in your science classes. The journal prompts are organized by week, so the entire 2013-2014 academic year is already planned out for you! Each journal is labeled with the corresponding week of the year, provides a prompt and space for student responses. You can either photocopy the entire bundle for your students at the beginning of the year and work through it each week or photocopy individual weeks as you progress through the year!
The writing prompts alternate between historical events, creative responses, opinion pieces, persuasive arguments, national awareness themes, and science process skills. A blank journal page is included for you to add your own ideas as needed.
We have updated the dates on the journal pages to correspond with the 2013-2014 academic year. We also changed the order of a couple of journal topics to correspond with changes in dates (e.g. the full moon in October is earlier this year).
We have been hard at work once again. Today’s post provides our latest science unit for Gr. 4 Science. Our past units have had great success and have been inspired once more to keep creating complete units that address the Ontario Science Curriculum in a cross curricular approach.
Learning centres: students work in small groups or individually to rotate between three centres over the course of the activity (four types of centre activities: technology, reading/writing activity, creative response, and a fun or hands-on activity);
Whole class lesson/discussions followed by either small group activities or whole class activity
Cross-curricular integration with other subject areas, including Language Arts (Reading, Writing, Oral Communication, Media Literacy), Drama, Physical Education, Art, and Health
A focus on Assessment For and As Learning through student self-assessments and group assessments, KWL charts, exit slips, anticipation guides, and project planning sheets;
Reading strategies addressed include making connections, determining important ideas, drawing conclusions, and cause-and-effect;
Differentiated Instructionis achieved through Learning Centres, group work and a variety of hands-on activities and labs
The entire unit, including lessons, assignments, assessments, printables, and centre activities comes to over 120 pages!
One of the novels that I absolutely love to teach is The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I have yet to encounter a student that did not love this novel!
Since the story is set in the 1960s, I go through various activities to help my students understand what life was like in the 1960s. We usually begin with a whole class discussion where students share anything that they know about the 1960s and we record contributions on the board. As more students share their ideas, we begin to build a concept map where we attempt to categorize the contributions and make connections between ideas. When students begin to struggle, I use prompting questions to get them to discuss possible answers (e.g. “Do you think students had calculators in the 1960s?”). Once we have had a great discussion, we work on two main activities: group and individual presentations.
The group presentations are pretty straightforward: students work in small groups to create a multi-media presentation on one aspect of the 1960s in greater detail and then present it to the class. We determine the topics for the presentations from the concept map we created during our discussion. This year, our topics were: fashion, politics, entertainment, television, sports, music, cars, and technology.
The individual presentations integrate drama into Language Arts. I had my students research influential people from the 1960s and each student had to choose one person to research more in-depth. To keep things interesting, no two students were allowed to research the same person. Once they researched and chose an influential person from the 1960s, students were then to “become” this person and be interviewed on a talk show. Students were given about three weeks to prepare for their interviews and they were to focus on content, costume/props, voice and delivery, gestures, and presentation. I provided students with a graphic organizer to help them record their research and prepare for their presentations.
We had our talk show on Thursday and it was amazing! I wish I could share pictures to show you all the fantastic and creative costumes by students came up with! This was such an engaging experience and both my students and I had a wonderful time and learned so much!
In case you are reading a novel with your students that is set in the 1960s, I have included the worksheet here for your use. Just click on the link!
10. For art, stained glass crosses look beautiful against your windows. I’ll be sharing this activity on Friday!
11. Catholic Teacher Resources has many free resources, but if you purchase a membership, you have access to so many more resources that you may find useful in your classroom. I purchased a membership and have been using the Easter resources with my students and I am happy with the quality and variety of resources.
Like Lisa, I absolutely love scouring Pinterest for inspirational ideas. One of the images that I found was for “Draw Me a Song”, a beautiful website full of illustrated posters of song lyrics. I really want to order one, but … Continue reading →