Friday, December 3, 2010

Helen Keller, Refugees, and Germs...

Week Fourteen


It was a winter wonderland this week! 

Our wonderful library assistant, Miss Kati, put put some new holiday bulletin boards to get us into the spirit of the season!

PreK 3, PreK, and Kindergarten - Guiding Question: How can we stay healthy and keep germs away?

With Mrs. Ducharme out sick for part of the week, our integrated Health lessons about germs were a perfect fit for the early childhood classes.  We read stories about being sick, learned what germs are, and did some practice hand-washing. We sang the ABC song to time how long to scrub with soap and warm water. 

I'm Really Ever So Not Well, by Lauren Child, tells the story of the dramatic Lola who has a terrible cold, her dutiful brother, and the various ways he tries to keep her entertained. We get to imagine what Lola's germs look like (colorful groovy dancing fellows) and understand why brother ends up catching the cold at the end.

Miss Malarkey Won't be in School Today, by Judy Finchler, takes us through the hilarious imaginings of a teacher who's home sick from school. She's desperately worried about her students and how they will behave for various subsitutes, such as the dreaded "Mrs. Ungerware" (not-so-affectionately known as "Mrs. Underwear") or "Ms.Ima Burpa"!

Grade 1 - Guiding Question: Who was Helen Keller and when did she live?

Continuing with our theme of events on a time line and biographies, we read about Helen Keller, a girl who became deaf and blind at a young age and never learned to speak. She becomes an angry little girl who behaves very badly because she has no way to express herself. A teacher, Anne Sullivan, uses a strict approach and guides Helen to understand how to learn words, sign her thoughts, and even speak. We charted Helen's life on our Dipity time line, watched a video clip about her, and looked at the Helen Keller Children's Museum website which includes activities about Braille. All resources are also found on the grade 1 tab of the library website.

Grade 2 - Guiding Question: What is setting? What clues reveal the setting of a story?

In our picture book trip around the world, we're continuing to look at setting and watch for clues that reveal the time and place of a story.  We read The Great Kapok Tree, by Lynne Cherry, which takes place in the Amazon Rain Forest in Brazil. After hearing about how the Kapok tree benefits the creatures that inhabit the rain forest, we did an online investigation about endangered animals of the rain forests. This activity is also found on the grade 2 tab of the library website.

Grade 3 - Guiding Question: What is a refugee? What are the rights of a child?

In connection to their Rights and Responsibilities unit, grade 3 learned about refugees and reviewed a basic right of a child: to feel safe. In this true story, Gervelie's Journey, by Anthony Robinson, Gervelie's family has to flee their home in Africa because so many people are being killed in a civil war there.  It takes them a long time to find a place where they will be safe and allowed to stay.  Gervelie faces the challenge of frequent moves at the same time she learns to live without her mother, who stayed behind.  This is an emotional but uplifting story.

Grades 4 and 5
Grades four and five love to read...just check out our hold shelf one day this week. They enjoyed some browsing and quiet reading time this week. There's nothing better than snuggling up with a good book on a snowy day!

No comments:

Post a Comment