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81810_91219_0.jpg        The Blanding's Turtle Project         81810_91219_0.jpg

This year, fourth graders across the district will become stewards of their environment.  We are taking part in a project to help save the threatened population of Blanding's Turtles in Concord. A threatened species is a native species that is at risk of becoming endangered in the near future. We will have two hatchling turtles in our classroom from September-June.  Part of our job will be to raise the Blandingís Turtles to prepare them to live independently in their natural environment.  




52910_113620_0.jpgWeatherimages-6.jpg
In grade 4, we begin the year by thinking and acting like scientists.  Students will observe the world around them while sketching and writing about their observations.  This will lead into a hands-on weather unit where students will study weather instruments, storms, and the earth's atmosphere.
Weather Links for Students:


images-8.jpg Engineering52910_113827_1.png

This unit guides students to think like mechanical engineers as they use their knowledge of wind to design and create machines that can be used to capture wind energy. The storybook "Leif Catches the Wind" reinforces the science concept of air as wind, and introduces the field of mechanical engineering. The wind turbines found in Leif's home country, Denmark, are used as an example of a renewable energy source and a machine designed in part by mechanical engineers.

Students will look critically at several common machines (mechanical pencils, egg beaters, rolling pins) and diagram how the parts of the machine interact with other parts of the machine and allow the object to function.

Students will then use their mechanical engineering skills to explore different materials and shapes conducive to catching the wind, first by designing sails for small boats and finally for designing windmill blades.

To find our more about the Engineering Unit, click here: http://www.mos.org/eie/windmills.php


Engineering Links for Students:


Try Your Own Engineering Experiments at Home!  Explore some of the ideas below by clicking on the link.  
(Be sure to ask an adult for permission before you begin.)


images-10.jpgEcosystems52910_114011_3.jpg


In this unit, students learn about what an ecosystem is, how living things in an ecosystem get energy, and how ecosystems can change. Students explore the interaction of living things and discuss food chains and webs.   Additionally, students create an ecosystem in the classroom with anoles and visit the Town Forest twice for soil testing and pond exploration.   For an overview of the unit, click here: Ecosystems Unit Overview


Ecosystems Links for Students:


FOOD CHAIN GAMES
More Food Chains



OTHER GAMES
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Last Modified: May 13, 2013