Fourth Graders have been working hard on their Poet Muse projects. During this project, each student chooses and poet they are inspired by and learn about their lives and poetry. The culminating project includes a slideshow about their poets’ lives, a memorized recitation of one of their poet’s poems, and a poem they write that was inspired by their poet. Students are getting ready to present this to their parents and peers.
We began a new reading unit this week all about animal adaptations. This is a nonfiction unit focused on reading for information and answering complex questions about the text. The big idea of this unit is to learn more about the connection between animals and their environments, especially how internal and external structures, including senses, work to support animal species’ survival in their specific habitat. The essential question that all of the articles relate to is: “How are animals’ physical characteristics and behaviors reflections of their environment?” This week, students have explored the differences between physical characteristics and behavior as they relate to adaptations. They have also looked at how adaptations are a result of evolution that happens over long periods of time.
This week Fourth and Fifth Graders have been talking further about empathy. Previously, we discussed the difference between sympathy and empathy. Students were able to think through the steps of showing empathy towards others. We thought about what color we would assign to the emotion of empathy and they decided it should be blue hombre, bringing friends from darkness to light. This week’s focus has been on how to move toward empathy when you are involved and emotional about a situation. It is far easier to show empathy when it does not directly affect you. The ideas students came up with included taking deep breaths, taking a break from the situation, coming b
ack to the friend the next day to talk. This is big work, even for adults!