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January 13, 2017

Earthquake Challenge

We have started our Rapid Changes to Earth unit.  Oh, how I LOVE this unit.  The kids are so engaged, and there are so many hands on activities to complete.  This past week we started studying earthquakes.  Living in California, it's one of those things that we are used to hearing about.  We have prior knowledge and a bunch of connections... like the ones that we just felt during Christmas break.  Well this year I decided to use wooden blocks to have the kids try to design buildings that could withstand movement.  I hope the movies work, I love watching the kids problem solving, but also to hear them share their joy.  :)    

So Much Fun

Students worked with a partner to form a building on two "plates" - actually two books.  It needed to be able to have those plates move in 3 different ways while still remaining intact - sliding, pushing/pressure, and separation.  There were tons of laughter and problem solving at the same time.

We still have more to learn before we move onto Volcanoes, but the interest level has been piqued.  

Next up my students will be reading Jivey's Paired Texts on Natural Disasters.  

Paired Texts / Paired Passages: Natural Disasters Grades 4-8

She covers Earthquakes, etc.  and then I will assign their Natural Disaster Research Report from 4th Grade Flipper.  

Natural Disasters Project Editable Nonfiction Writing Task

The Paired Texts give that deep knowledge that our text lacks, and the research is giving the kids choice, which ups the interest level.  How have you studied earthquakes?  

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