Trimester 1 Transdisciplinary Themes:
1.Who We Are
Central Idea: Systems evolve from changing human experiences.
Lines of Inquiry: Students will inquire into…
- the variety of influences in developing a civilization
- how decisions are made in different civilizations
- the different types of human-made systems
2.How the World Works (still in development)
During the first few weeks, we will launch “Readers’ Workshop” in order for the readers to know how to successfully choose just right books, talk or “buzz” about books, interact with the text as they read utilizing the reading strategies good readers use while reading: predicting, visualizing, connecting, clarifying, questioning, summarizing and evaluating. We will continue to develop these skills throughout the year with individual, small group, and whole class instruction. Each student will use his/her reading notebook to record the books they read, mini-lesson information, and reading responses to their independent and small group reading.
Each student will also complete a DRA, Developmental Reading Assessment, and will be working in small book clubs.
Throughout the next few weeks, “Writers’ Workshop” will be set up in our classroom. The students are very familiar with this process as it is a proven method through which writers develop that our school utilizes for instruction and learning.
Each young writer will write numerous narrative drafts using a variety of prewriting strategies. After a few weeks, each will choose a narrative draft that s/he would like to work with for a couple of weeks. Using mentor texts and mini-lessons, the writers will be engaged in the revision process in order to improve the piece. Ultimately, the students will publish their narratives.
Science: Living Systems
Students are introduced to a system as a collection of interacting parts that work together to make a whole or produce an action. They explore Earth as a system, focusing on the biosphere and describing ecosystems by looking at feeding relationships and energy transfers, described as food webs. Students model food chains and food webs in a wood ecosystem and a marine ecosystem.
Social Studies: Civilizations
Our first social studies unit is “Civilizations.” The students will learn about several early civilizations and discover how they developed using the “cultural universals” to inquire: Basic Needs, Belief System, Communication, Economy, Technology, Government, Family Structure, Education, and Leisure. The physical geography and environment are analyzed as they directly impacted how a culture developed. After exploring similarities and differences between several civilizations and discovering what caused a civilization to flourish or decline, the learners will present to a group of “nomads” where and how to create a successful civilization.