Fourth Grade Engineers Build Pyramids
Fourth graders have transformed into architects, builders, and scribes and have been working tirelessly to complete a challenge to build lifelike replicas of pyramids using only recycled materials. Students first studied the traits and designs of a variety of Egyptian pyramids, and then they created their own blueprints for what their ideal pyramids would look like and what their measurements would be. Since then, they have been measuring, cutting, designing, creatively redesigning, and continuously problem-solving. They have also been keeping meticulous records of what tasks they complete each day, any challenges that arise, and plans for moving forward. Finished pyramids will include tomb paintings and cartouches, which students learned about in social studies, and will have special features like burial chambers, mazes, and sphinxes. The engineers are excited for an upcoming visit by a special judge who will be coming to admire their work!
– Emily Crawford, fourth grade teacher
Sixth Graders Read Stories That Explore Identity
As we continue our short unit on identity, we began this week by analyzing “Inside Out” by Francisco Jimenez. The short story is framed by the author’s experiences working in a migrant labor camp as a child. Students analyzed the experience of Francisco, who has entered a new school and is learning English. Despite his struggles with fitting in, Francisco sees how embracing his unique artistic talents has a positive impact on his life and relationship with others. This helps him grow into an identity he is proud of and gives him an opportunity to feel comfortable in school. Many students shared that this was their favorite short story on the topic of identity.
Other students shared that their favorite was “Unusual Normality” by Ishmael Beah, which we read later in the week. In this short memoir, students read about the challenges one young man faces as he tries to resume “normal” life after his experience as a child soldier from Sierra Leone. Through this lesson, students were asked to consider the risks associated with making your differences known to others as you discover your identity.
– Khang Phan, sixth grade social studies teacher