Fourth Graders Prepare for Natural Disasters!

Working with partners to research the same topic

Working with partners to research the same topic

It seems like spring is research time in the library.  First graders are wrapping up sloths.  Second graders are finishing animals.  Third graders are preparing to share their research on rainforest animals in a book. And now, fourth graders are learning about a variety of natural disasters: floods, blizzards, tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tornadoes.

Research can still include books, even today!

Research can still include books, even today!

Spring seems to be a good time for research because the research project allows us to pull together a variety of skills learned during library classes throughout the year:  finding good details, typing skills, using the library catalog, learning how to use databases, learning how to collaborate.    The fourth graders chose their topic with their partner then used PowerKids Earth and Space database as well as several series of print nonfiction books on disasters.

Now that they are finished with their research, the fun begins!  The students are preparing a special news broadcast that will incorporate the information they learned about their disaster:  what it is, how it is predicted (if possible), how to stay safe, and an example of a famous disaster in history (recent or way back in time).  They will present their newscasts and be videotaped just like television!

Using PowerKids Earth and Space to research natural disasters

 

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TJ Connor Reads Flora and Ulysses wraps up

We have finished reading Flora and Ulysses as a school!

Mrs. Wallaces's class shows off their superheroes

Mrs. Wallaces’s class shows off their superheroes

Our students have written poetry, drawn pictures of their superheroes, and created a comic strip of their favorite part of the book.

We also asked our families and faculty/staff to particpate in a short survey using http://www.Polldaddy.com on how they enjoyed TJ Connor Reads.  Hoepfully we can use the responses we get to plan for the next TJ Connor Reads!  We even created a display in the main hall of a tree with leaves and acorns (in honor of Ulysses, the squirrel) sharing our favorite part of the book or why we liked reading as a family.  TJ Connor Reads was a lot of fun!

TJ Connor Reads celebrates Flora and Ulysses

TJ Connor Reads celebrates Flora and Ulysses

RainForest Animal Research

Using PebbleGo Database to research

Using PebbleGo Database to research

Using Grolier's Amazing Animals to research with a partner

Using Grolier’s Amazing Animals to research with a partner

Spring is a busy time for research!  Not only are the second graders researching animals, the third graders have begun researching animals in the rain forests.  They are using Grolier’s Amazing Animals of the World as well as PowerKids Earth and Space to learn more about rain forests.  We are also looking at the National Geographic Kids website to help answer our questions on the animals.  And, what do we want to know? We are curious about what our animals looks like, how they depend on other animals, what the animals needs to survive, and how our animals adapts to its environment.

Our third grades are also improving their collaboration skills as they research.  Students have been placed into groups of two or three students.  Working with other students is teaching them how to resolve conflicts (of which there have been a few!), communicate with others, and develop a deeper understanding of their topic.  Collaboration has encouraged them to stay on task as well, keeping them focused on research.

After our research, we will ask ourselves if these animals are worth saving and why.  Exploring these animals and questioning their value to the environment is helping our third garders become critical thinkers.  The final phase of the project will be to publish a book about our findings.  Stay tuned for more!