My ELA classes are a buzz with excitement as we journey into our most recent writing project. As a way of integrating learning/information across content areas, students are diving into our "ancestry research paper and project." Specifically, students in ELA have been charged with the task of compiling questions about their past/ancestry to begin the quest of researching data through interviews with family members, online website research, and for those who are lucky enough to have family "steeped in literature," use texts to answer the question "where do I come from?" We are working step-by-step through the MLA research paper format and students have a research flip-book glued into their notebooks to act as a resource/reference.
Moving forward, we will soon dive into Medieval Europe, the Renaissance and Reformation. Students will analyze the Feudal System of Europe, will discuss the impact of the crusades, discover the "gruesome and gross" aspects of the Black Death, and will gain a better appreciation for religion by researching the "break" within the Catholic Church. Students will use the information they have gathered in ELA and will combine it with new learning obtained from their history classes to create castles, fiefs, catapults (in science) collect and analyze catapult data (math),and as a culminating activity, will create a food dish that comes from their place of origin, as we partake in a delicious Madrigal Feast. Definitely a highlight of the year, a personal favorite of mine, and the 6th graders are VERY EXCITED.
In math students have been working hard at mastering area, surface area and volume. In class students measured 3-D shapes in small groups and the used this data to find the surface area and volume of each shape. Groups then will share findings with other groups to verify accuracy of their findings.
Next we will move on to exploring ways data can be displayed and then interpreting that data. Students have been using calculators in these two domains as they can be used on the SC Ready next month.
We have been hard at work studying FUNGI, WEATHER, constructing two greenhouses, monitoring our SPARTINA grass seeds, and learning all about SIMPLE MACHINES! After working with an ENORMOUS working LEVER and discovering how to move the fulcrum to achieve the maximum work with the least effort...students started working in small groups on experiments of their own design. The students constructed inclined planes and tested the mechanical advantage of their machines. They also built single fixed and single movable pulley systems as well as double pulley systems. For the next two weeks leading up to Spring Break, the students will work to create a RUBE GOLDBERG DEVICE which will accomplish a simple task using a complex series of cause and effect relationships where energy is transferred using at least 4 unique simple machines. Everyone is super excited about the project and we can't wait to showcase the final designs!