Terry Fox Poems, Five Senses & Place Value

Hello, division 4 families! We are off to another exciting week! Perhaps you have already heard about the fun we are having in ADST time. ADST is where we bring out a number of hands-on “centres” activities that foster critical thinking, creative problem solving, and collaboration. Here are some photos of ADST from last week:

In math, we continue to explore place value. The students are working with numbers in standard form, expanded form and word form—grade 4s work up to the ten thousands and grade 5s work up to the hundred thousands. We used the greater than and less than symbols as well to compare and order numbers. We have been doing team challenges and puzzles to reinforce learning and have fun with it.

In Social Studies last week, our class learned more about the life, values and contributions of the Canadian hero, Terry Fox. The students are working on a collaborative art piece about Terry: a pair of running shoes.

We have explored print primary and secondary sources of information, print and digital. We practiced identifying and recording notes, and students transformed their research into biographical poems about Terry Fox.

As a whole class, we brainstormed key words and ideas, and then I modelled how to use students’ research notes and ideas to write a poem. We identified and discussed the successful features of our collaboratively written poem.

We spent time we exploring specific strategies for making our poems more interesting and creative. For example, we learned about how to use repetition, make meaningful line breaks, and use figurative language like simile and metaphor. This term, students will continue to work on these Terry Fox poems and revisit them with edits as they develop more tools as poets and editors.

Combining the great ideas the students volunteered, I modelled a process for turning research points into a biographical poem. This is the result: a poem by division 4!

As we go further in our Language Arts writing lessons, we are practicing how to write descriptively through appealing to the five senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. Learning about the five senses is one of the Science curriculum goals this year as well.

Today we did a creative visualization about what we might experience through our five senses on an autumn day in Victoria, and we brainstormed and shared ideas together using a graphic organizer.

Building our skills as writers, we also introduced the concept of alliteration today. For example, the line “farmers’ fields are full of fresh pumpkins” is an example of alliteration because the beginning “f” sound is repeated.

In Social Studies we are also beginning to look at the meaning of Orange Shirt Day and the history of residential schools. Today students discussed their prior learning, and we saw a video of Phyllis Webstad introducing some context and her personal experiences. I read the book “The Orange Shirt Story” aloud in the garden and asked students to connect with their families to continue discussion and thinking about this topic. We are preparing for an inquiry into the question: What does reconciliation mean to you?

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