Gr 4 Science Unit on Pulleys and Gears (Ontario Curriculum)

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.

Today’s unit addresses the Understanding Structures and Mechanisms: Pulleys and Gears.   With this unit you do not need to search for other resources.  It is a complete unit that will fully engage your students in a variety of ways.

 

Pulleys and Gears Badge

Here is an overview of the unit:

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 Instruction is 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!

Need more?  Just click on this link: Demo of Gr 4 Pulleys and Gears

If you have not seen our other COMPLETE units that address the Ontario Science Curriculum, then use the links below to find further information:

Gr. 4/5 Pulleys, Gears, Forces & Structures

Gr. 4 Habitats and Communities

Gr. 4/5  Habitats and Communities & Human Organ Systems

Gr. 5 Human Organ Systems

Pre-Reading Activities: Introducing Students to Life in the 1960s Through Drama

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!

Easter Symbols

Easter Subway Art

 

 

As promised yesterday, we have samples of what students manually created for the Easter Subway Art.  These samples show how students can develop meaning and understanding through an artistic approach, by hi-lighting key words and concepts.  Furthermore, students can express  their thoughts and feelings in a variety of fashions.  Lisa’s students did a fantastic job!  Take a look!

 

 

 

Easter Subway Art 3

Easter Subway Art 2

For many the Easter season is a very important time of year.  I have found that many of my students understand Jesus’ passion, what the significance of the season is, but do not know what the connection is to some of the symbols used throughout this season.

For example, many students think that the Easter egg is not really a religious symbol.  Granted it has morphed into a commercialized egg but the symbolism is very important.

I hope the following helps your students understand some of the Easter symbols and their significance.

Easter Eggs & Baby Chicks: Eggs and chicks symbolize new life. Eggs have been a symbol of Spring since ancient times. An egg also is a symbol of the rock tomb out of which Jesus emerged when he arose again. The chick, hatching out of the egg, symbolizes new life or re-birth.

Easter Bunny: The rabbit, or hare, was a symbol of abundant new life in ancient times, and reminds us of Spring and new life.

Easter Lilies: The white blossoms symbolize the purity of Jesus. Lilies, emerging from the earth in the spring, also symbolize new life and the resurrection of Christ.

Palm Branches: Represents when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday and people waved palm branches, welcoming him.

Hot Cross Buns: Hot cross buns have a cross of icing on the top to remind people of Christ.

Easter & Spring Flowers: Daffodils and tulips bloom in the spring, and symbolize spring and new life.

The Butterfly: The whole life cycle of the butterfly is meant to symbolize the life of Jesus Christ. The first stage, is the caterpillar, which stands for His life on Earth. Second phase begins from the cocoon stage, portraying the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. The third and final stage is the butterfly, representing His raising from the dead in a glorified body and peace.

There are many more symbols, but these are the usual ones.  Leave us a comment about the symbols you have discussed with your students.

The Tuesday 12: 12 Easter Resources!

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we’ll be providing you with a variety of resources you can use to help prepare your students for Easter. Just click on the links below!

1. A fun and colourful {free} Easter Subway Art printable! This printable focuses more on the fun aspects of Easter, including egg hunts, jelly beans, and the Easter Bunny.

2. {Free} Easter Subway Art in a choice of four colour schemes! This printable has a religious focus on Jesus’ resurrection.

3. Tons of ways to decorate Easter eggs! From sequins, to shaving cream, to pastels, this site has you covered!

4. Free Easter digital paper and clip art to help decorate your classroom worksheets!

5. A beautiful Easter egg garland that can be made with string, balloons, and a starchy liquid!

6. Planning on giving your students an Easter treat? How about using the Jelly Bean Prayer? Follow this link to get a free printable to provide your students with a meaningful Easter treat!

7. Free Easter Worksheets to coordinate the Easter season with your math classes!

8. Older students can learn or review the Stations of the Cross by taking on a individual or group projects. 

9. A wonderful and reflective resource on forgiveness that includes reflection questions, stories, quotations, art, music, and prayers.

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.

12. And, finally, there are so many free printables on this site! From Easter, to Lent, to the sacraments, to various saints, there are so many resources to explore!

Sugar in our Drinks

My son recently asked what was healthier to drink.  It took us on a discovery mission about the sugar content in the drinks we have in our home and drinks we tend to sometimes consume.  As we were doing this, I thought to myself that this little discovery activity would be a great way for our students to develop an understanding about their diets and healthy living.  I searched the internet and there is a lot of information, but wanted something that impacted the viewer visually.  I have found two that stand out that I am writing about today.

The first one is an info graphic that clearly compares sugar content in different drinks.  Jamie Oliver, a famous chef and activist for eating healthy, has posted it.  I have found it as a great visual for my son to be able to compare the quantities of sugar. Click on the image below to be brought to the PDF version.

jamie-olive-sugar

A great way for students to understand this content could be to create a comparison board about what they have learned.  Below, you’ll find an effective, yet, simple visual aid to help your students begin to understand what we are consuming. This image has been shared so many times over Facebook; however, the original source is not listed.  If you do know the original source, please leave us a comment!

Rethink your Drink

The Vancouver Island Health Authority actually has an entire activity centered on this topic!  Included in the FREE PDF is a lesson plan, activity, resources, and images to create your very own display!  Just click on the link above to be taken to the free resource.

If you and your students are really serious about making healthier drink choices, you can actually take the Rethink Your Drink Pledge! Be sure to check out this website for additional resources to help you and your students learn more about the hidden sugars in our drinks!

Hoping that this information helps you and your students.  If you do have your students create their own visuals, then please share as we would love to see what brilliance they come up with!

 

Of note:  1 tsp is approximately equal to 4.2     grams of sugar

Computer Coding: An Essential Skill

We all wonder what our students and children will face in the future.  How will they be successful, what kind of work will there be for them, what skills are necessary to be able to be successful?  These questions are at the heart of everything we do!  We know that students need to be creative, able to problem solve and think critically.  Also, we know that our curriculum and our classrooms should be inclusive of technology.  But what about understanding where it all stems from?  What are we doing about that?  We need to realize that computer software coding is an essential skill that will be necessary for success. We need to be able to address this in our classrooms.

Here is a link to a wonderful video, where world class athletes, musicians and great business people, discuss the importance to this very skill.

Well, what does that mean for us? Visit the website www.code.org and find out how students can learn to code in elementary schools, how they can develop their critical thinking skills and problem solving skills. Share with us what you think and what you have tried.  It is never too late for anyone to learn to code!