NaNoWriMo is part of the Young Writer’s Program to help students write a small novel. Ms. Sanders, the sixth grade ELA teacher, has been working with students since November 1st. Three students- Alex Eaves, Lydia Simmons, and Ericka Hernandez- were part of the class working on the novel.They had to learn about story elements before they could start writing their story. At times it was very hard for them, but they were excited to finish the writings. Each kid had to pick a topic for his/her story, decide on the plot and sequence of events, and then write at least 500 words a day. Alex’s story was about a kid with down syndrome, Lydia’s novel was a murder mystery,and Erika wrote about a missing person. They had to present their story to their classmates on the last day during a “Book Talk”. Students can also publish their book through Amazon or other publishers if they choose.
6th Grade Catapult
The sixth grade social studies class are making a catapult . A catapult is a machine used by the Mesopotamians to hurl stones or other large weapons over long distances. Making a catapult is part of an ongoing project of developing their own civilizations while they study the development of Mesopotamia. The students' civilizations had to "invent" the catapult as part of their development, just like the Assyrians developed weapons in Mesopotamia. According to the students, it was a fun project to do and they loved figuring out how to build their own catapult. The best part of the course was shooting marshmallows across the hallway with their new inventions.
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Mr. Finkbiner’s 6th grade science classes have a plant unit where they learn about how plants grow and what they need to survive. Growing avocados is a great way to get students involved in growing a plant not just reading about it or doing an online activity. The classes are not just growing avocado trees however; when an avocado pit is inside an avocado there is a paper thin shell around it. Some researchers say that when growing an avocado tree it is better to leave the shell on the pit while some researchers say to take it off. His classes are conducting an experiment to find out which works better. This is a great way to not only learn about plant development but also learn about the scientific method. The main reason he choose avocados to use over other plants is because you can grow them hydroponically, which means that you can grow them in water instead of dirt. This is important because it allows students to see how roots grow without soil blocking the view. This activity will be a year long activity that the classes will be able to come back to over and over as they explore the world of science. We hope for this project is that students have a better understanding of how plants develop from a seed to a adult plant and a better understanding of how to conduct a controlled experiment using the scientific method. Mr. Finkbiner said they will probably not put the plants in the garden because it gets cold in North Carolina during the winter. He tried to put them outside last year in the fall and brought them in when it got cold but this year the classes are trying to grow them under a grow light in are classroom.