Michael J. Allen

Class of 2017 - 2018

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Teacher Plans

April 23rd - 27th

This week

With the Tavern project completed and the students moved into new groups, we immerse ourselves this week into the new project: Life on Earth! The students will be reading and writing about zoos, as detailed below.

They will be watching the amazing David Attenborough documentary about the 'Private Life of Plants' and completing activities after each piece of the story. They will also be starting a new invention challenge - the egg-drop challenge!

It's going to be another action-packed week!

 

Morning meeting

As part of the whole-school philosophy each class begins each day with a thirty-minute long class meeting.

The meeting is structured into four phases:

  • Greetings

  • Sharing - short news items from members of the class

  • Activities - short, fun community building activities

  • Message - topic of the day, often with academic angle.

 

Language

Reading and Writing

This week, we will start with the new project on the subject of 'Life on Earth'.

Following our visit to the Franklin Park zoo, the students will be considering the pros and cons of zoos.

They will read Tony Stead's student-composed book about zoos, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of these august institutions. They will form debate teams and battle it out after completing the reading, as well as, eventually, composing posters, dramas and podcast presentations.

The focus for much of the work this week and next will be developing and exploring personal opinions through persuasive techniques and approaches in writing and in debate. We will be using multiple techniques and strategies, including drama, debate, artwork and persuasive writing to explore the following questions.

  • Should there be Zoos?

  • How should we treat the animals that we eat? Is the factory model for growing our food the correct model? Are the rights of hungry people to have access to cheap food more important than the rights of chickens and other food animals?

They will watch selections from the PBS documentary, 'The Natural History of the Chicken', and write a fictional story called, 'The Cages' based on the life of chickens living in factory farms.

In the upcoming weeks, we will also be reading and completing activities from the old Science text, Populations and Ecosystems, detailed below:

Part 1: Ecosystems

  • What is an ecosystem? P8-11

Activity: Owl pellets - understanding the diets of owls through exploring their ejected matter!

 

Part 2: Relationships

What's to eat? P16 -20

  • Understand the following terms and concepts:
  • Producer, consumer, decomposer
  • Herbivore, Carnivore, Omnivore

Symbiosis:

  • Parasitism
  • Commensalism
  • Mutualism

Activity: apply these concepts to a student-designed sea creature ecosystem.

 

Google Classroom link

Here's the link to our Google classroom.

Monday, April 23rd:

Zoo field trip

 

Tuesday, April 24th:

Reading one argument for and one argument against zoos. Work on a note-taking technique.

Start working on Powerpoint presentation to support debate speeches.

 

Wednesday, April 25th:

Reading one more argument for and one more argument against zoos. Work on a note-taking technique.

Continue working on Powerpoint presentation to support debate speeches.

Watch 'Life of plants' - part 1.

Work on Buddy Books.

 

Thursday, April 26th:

Finish reading, Powerpoints and Buddy books.

 

Friday, April 27th:

Book buddies - Finalize and gift the Kindergarten buddie's books.

Zoos debates/presentations.

 

Math

 

Monday, April 23rd:

No Math.

 

Tuesday, April 24th:

Unit 11:10

(Homework - P11.10)

 

Wednesday, April 25th:

Unit 11:11

(Homework - P11:11)

 

Thursday, April 26th:

Review - practice test.

(Homework - prepare for quiz)

 

Friday, April 27th:

Quiz - Dividing fractions.

 

Project

Life on Earth

This is a three or four week plan. It is broken into these primary areas:

Moral and ethical issues concerning life on Earth- to what extent do other animals feel what we do? How should animals and plants be treated? What rights do they have? What rights should they have?

The Organization of life - What are the habitats of the Earth? How are creatures adapted to their environments? What are the relationships between living things in these habitats?

The Mechanics of life - How does D.N.A work? What are cells? What are genes?

 

Activities for Moral and ethical issues concerning life on Earth:

  • Zoos - Read, 'Zoos' by Tony Stead. Debate the subject in debate teams with PowerPoint support. Present the debate to a Fifth grade class.

  • The Private Life of Plants - gain an understanding of the sophistication and complexity of some of Life's underrated denizens.

 

 

Activities for The Organization of life:

Reading and activities/discussion from science text, Populations and Ecosystems:

Part 1: Ecosystems

  • What is an ecosystem? P8-11

Activity: Owl pellets - understanding the diets of owls through exploring their ejected matter!

 

Part 2: Relationships

What's to eat? P16 -20

  • Understand the following terms and concepts:
  • Producer, consumer, decomposer
  • Herbivore, Carnivore, Omnivore

Symbiosis:

  • Parasitism
  • Commensalism
  • Mutualism

Activity: apply these concepts to a student-designed ecosystem.

 

Part 3: Food Chains

  • Cycle of food: food chains p27 -29

Activity: Watch the 'Blue Planet' – identify the food webs based around the Herring spawn in the American North West and the sardine Spawn off the coast of South Africa.

 

Part 4: Cycles

  • Cycles effecting living things: p 32- 35

    • Water cycle

    • Carbon dioxide/oxygen cycle

Activity: Make labelled diagrams of the cycles

 

Part 5: The Big Picture

  • Biodiversity p56 – 59

  • Changes in living things over time. Mutation and the history of life on Earth.

 

Life Of Mammals

Find out about the history and life of mammals focusing on what the characteristics mammals have to have, as well as the individual species adaptations that make them fit their particular environments.

We will be watching and discussing David Attenborough's amazing, Life of Mammals for this work.

Starting from the earliest Mammals, the platypus and echidna, we will make a journey through this most splendid kingdom of life on Earth!

There is also another aspect to the whole project - a focus on the most remarkable and most unheralded lynchpins of the amazing world of living things:

 

The Private Life of Plants


  • How plants disperse their seeds.

  • How plants compete and grow.

  • What is photosynthesis?

  • How do plants defend themselves?

  • How plants reproduce.

After watching relevant sections from the series we will be:

  • Taking local walks and making observational sketches

  • Making posters and designing our own plants using biologically accurate systems.

 

Life - ecosystems and living-things links

 

Technology Challenge 4

 

The Eggdrop Challenge

Prevent your egg from perishing when cruel Mr. Allen chucks it off the roof of the school!

Design, test and make a device to save your egg!

Follow the link to see the Eggdrop challenge from many years ago!

 

Homework 

The students will be receiving more homework through Google classroom - roughly twenty minutes each night this week, starting on April 24th.

Each writing prompt will be posted on Google classroom.

Check out the 'News’ page for the 'Parent's Guide to Homework', as well as other delicious treats!

 

Science-class teacher plan

This is the route to the 'Specialist Class' page.

This page is for the students and parents of Ms. O'Donnell to find out about what happens during the Science class!