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Milky Way, 28 July; Living Things

This week Milky Way class has continued the transdisciplinary theme of how the world works, with the central idea that living things have specific requirements to grow and be healthy. The scope of the central idea is being defined by lines of enquiry including:

  • The stages of life and life-cycles
  • The requirements for life and health
  • How we help plants grow
  • The diversity of life

The class is doing extremely well recognising a new vocabulary list of over fifty animals and life-related words. The students are being encouraged to pursue their individual questions from the start of the unit and being encouraged to find the answers to these questions on their own. Any help they receive from home would be greatly appreciated.
In their investigation into the diversity of animals, the class has looked in some detail at the life-cycles of frogs and toads, salamanders and axolotls, and sparrows.
The class is continuing to monitor their plant-growth experiment under conditions whose variables include light, dark, soil, water, and open- and closed-systems.

The students have enjoyed two craft projects this week:

  • (i) Making construction-paper flowers. First they traced around their hand with a pencil and then cut-out the hand shape to make the stem, which was pasted onto a sheet of construction paper. Second, they drew flowers, cut them out, and pasted them onto the stems.
  • (i) Making a pattern of ants. Students used their fingertips and ink to make the ants’ three body parts and then drew six legs and pincers with a marker. The students then used glue and sand to make a pattern around the ants.

In mathematics, this is the final week the students will study clocks and time before beginning a unit on length next week.
During morning and afternoon routines, the class has been learning the lyrics and singing Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World. This has provided opportunities for students to listen to other Louis Armstrong music and to understand and appreciate Dixieland jazz and scat singing. They have also begun looking at the various orchestral sections, with some emphasis on brass. Today the class first listened to The Tokens’ The Lion Sleeps Tonight and looked at the lyrics. In the coming weeks, this will facilitate the class learning about doo-wop, African music and falsetto.