My TpT Store

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Timeline of Scientific Discoveries of the Solar System

In Virginia, we learn about how our understanding of the Solar System has changed immensely over the years.  We also focus on the scientists that made the discoveries that made those changes possible.

In this activity, students cut and glue the pictures and descriptions of the discoveries of Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Galileo in order to create a timeline. This is great for interactive notebooks!  You can pick up your copy at my TpT store by clicking here

Do you do any similar activities?  Do you use interactive notebooks in science?  I'd love to hear more!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Santa Research

I read the "Yes, Virginia" letter to them on this website. We talk about how she's much like them and has many questions about Santa.  Fourth graders are at an age where they are either questioning Santa's existence or they've already decided he doesn't exist.  Either way, this is an excellent time to approach Santa scientifically.  I've actually had kids change their mind and become believers because of this!

We then watch the short "Yes, Virginia" movie.

I start out by reading Santa Who? by Gail Gibbons.  This book is great for talking about where Santa actually came from and the different cultures and countries that celebrate his existence.

We then use the following websites to research his culture and origin of all his different names.
This website goes into detail about the culture of each country.
This is a blog that lists Santa's different names.

We then write a letter to a newspaper editor (can be real or imaginary).  This is an excellent opportunity for me to talk about the difference between friendly and business letters.

So, I have incorporated research, technology, multiculturalism and letters.  What do you do for the holidays that is fun, yet educational?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Winter Creative Writing Unit

Anytime I can get the kids writing and enjoying it, I feel a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.  I have found that kids really like writing about food, especially if I ask them to use their five senses to do so.  This is the third year I've used this writing unit, and it's been a hit each time.

This PowerPoint guides students to fill in an organizer with sensory details in a bakery setting and the foods within. Suggested mentor texts are included in the rest of the PowerPoint so that students can collect good sensory words as they listen.

You can pick up a free copy at my TpT store by clicking here.

Do you use food to motivate students to write?  I'd love to hear how.