December is a busy month in later elementary!  We just took our first field trip and are extending what we learned from the Henry Ford River Rouge Plant and how it applies to our Michigan economy.

In literature, students are hard at work on their independent adventure book projects.  These will be on display at Curriculum Celebration in January!  In class, we are continuing to read Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet.  The story is leaving us on the edge of our seats as Brian works hard to survive!  As we read we’re creating a portfolio of reflections about the novel.

4/5 students in Social Studies are multitasking. Over the past two months we have been diving pretty deep into the concepts of government: types of governments, federalism, branches of government, balance and separation of power, the election, the U.S. Constitution, and how historically, all of these functions stem from our break from Great Britain during and after the Revolutionary War.

Last week, however, we took a quick break to focus on an upcoming cross-curricular project with Jess’ technology unit entitled “Pure Michigan.” Students are choosing a specific place, activity, or industry within Michigan and creating a free verse poem to communicate how special it is to our state.  Then the kids will be creating an iMovie that matches pictures and music to create a Pure Michigan video. Look for them to be on display at the Curriculum Celebration in January.
We are studying the Earth as a dynamic planet!  What we are standing on, what is under our feet is fascinating to the children!  We have learned about the layers of our planet, most importantly the crust.  The students have studied the map of all recorded earthquakes and volcanoes from the US Geological Survey.  We have used this map to look for patterns and analyze what might be the reasons for the location of these events.  The kids did a great job of working through this process and discovered that the crust under the Atlantic Ocean spreading and that the crust under the Pacific is shrinking.  Our planet is dynamic!  We will finish out December with reinforcing what we have learned and will be starting off January with rocks, minerals and the changing face of the Earth!


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