Dec 4-8
We began our unit on the brain and discussed the how the left and right hemispheres have different jobs. We discussed dominance and did several activities to investigate our own brain dominance and learning styles.
Social Studies
We completed our investigation of the explorers who came to America, ending with the French explorers Champlain and Cartier. We discussed the differences in how the English, Spanish, and French treated Natives. We also discussed the Columbian Exchange.

Nov 27- Dec 1

We completed our unit on the solar system with a discussion of eclipses and tides. Solar eclipses can occur during a new moon while lunar eclipses can occur during a full moon. Spring tides occur during a full or new moon while neap tides occur during the quarter moons.

Social Studies

Now that we understand a bit about the indigenous people of the Americas, we are investigating what happened when Europeans came to these lands. We have discussed the role of technology in propelling exploration and have learned about the early explorers as well as the Conquistadors.

October 30-Nov. 3
We finished our first part of the study of our solar system and now are entering our moon phase. We have combined that with our study of the Algonquian Nation, and have spent time reading about Algonquian names for monthly moons.
Social Studies
We finished work on the general Algonquian Nation and are now doing group projects about tribes within that nation.

October 10-13

We completed our study of why day and night occurs: the tilt of the Earth on its axis as it rotates causes day and night when a location is rotated toward or away from the sun. We also discovered that shadows are caused when light is blocked. Opaque objects cast the best shadows while transluscent objects cast partial shadows. Transparent objects do not cast a shadow. Shadows are longest at sunrise and sunset and shortest at noon.
Social Studies
We discussed how history can be shown through a timeline using decades, centuries, and millennia. We also learned the difference between BC/BCE and AD/CE. We learned how paths are shown on a map. The big idea this week was how the first people came to the Americas and when that happened.


In science, we learned about how the rotation of the earth on its axis results in day/night. We learned that the parts of the day include sunrise, sunset, noon, and midnight. We plotted how those would be seen on the horizon, and we painted sunrises and sunsets.
Social Studies
We concluded our investigation of maps. We learned about what a culture is and how to find out more information about cultures. Next, we will learn about the first cultures in the Americas, those of the indigenous people.

September 25-29

We talked about hemispheres and how they are separated on the globe by the equator as well as by the Prime Meridian. We also learned about the axis of the Earth and why the Earth is wonky. We proved rotation with Foucault’s Pendulum. We showed how day and night works with flashlights and globes.
Social Studies
Students completed their own maps with an amazing variety of themes. They are now beginning to research, with the help of their families, their own immigrant stories as we start our year-long discovery of the Story of America.

We wrote Newton’s Law of Gravity and 1st Law of Motion in order to understand how they combine to make the planets revolve around the Sun. We plotted relative distances of the planets outside and figured out how their distance from the Sun affected their orbit length/time. We categorized the planets and asked scientific questions based on the categories.
Social Studies
We are continuing our study of maps by planning our own maps of an imaginary place that we will create. Students have chosen their topic, the specific nouns associated with their topic, and have done the planning of what to name the geographical/city features on their maps.


We began our unit on the solar system by reading about a MYTH of the solar system, the story of Phaeton. Students are encouraged to differentiate between myth and science. They also are strengthening their reading and responding skills. We learned about Copernicus and Galileo and the geocentric and heliocentric ideas of explaining the solar system. We also began a study of the root GEO.
Social Studies
We are continuing the study of maps now that we know the location of the continents and oceans. We used our DISCOVERY booklet to learn about features on a map, beginning with the fictional place called Odensa.

May 1-6
Social Studies

In SS, we finished the events that led up to the American Revolution. The Boston Tea Party was a violent act that resulted from the colonists’ anger over the Tea Act. Boston colonists were punished for the destruction of tea by the Intolerable Acts. Colonists all throughout the 13 colonies banded together in the Committees of Correspondence and at the 1st Continental Congress. The 1st CC recommended that all British goods be boycotted until the British respected colonial rights. The British tried to find colonial weapons and leaders at Concord and Lexington, but they were met by militia and minutemen in battles that were really the start of the American Revolution.
In science, we continued to work on forms of poetry (haiku, acrostic, couplet, list) written with science and social studies themes.

April 17-21

We are exploring poetry so that we can write poems about science and social studies in our poetry books.
Social Studies
We are learning about the relationship between Parliament/King and the colonies after the French and Indian War. Parliament levied a tax, the Sugar Act, on the colonies to pay for the French and Indian War. This prompted colonists to say, “No taxation without representation.” Parliament then levied the Stamp Act, a tax on anything printed on paper. This was repealed but was replaced by the Townshend Acts. Upset Bostonians attacked British soldiers which resulted in the Boston Massacre.
March 27-31
Social Studies

We learned that 3 groups made laws for the colonies: colonial legislatures, the king of England, and Parliament. We discussed which group would better represent the colonists. We also learned about the French and Indian War, a conflict between the French and the English/colonists over land in the Ohio Rive Valley.
We finished a brief unit on color, learning how to use the color wheel to make endless colors from the primary colors of pigment: red, yellow, and blue. We learned that the primary colors of light are red, yellow, and green.

March 20-23

We jumped into COLOR this week. Students used prisms to investigate how white light is refracted into the colors of the visible spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. We used yarn to show how different colors have different wavelengths. We used buttons and creative color wheels to show how, when we see a certain color, which colors are reflected and which are absorbed. We used the primary colors of pigment (yellow, blue, red) to make as many paint colors as possible in a process called subtractive color mixing.

Social Studies
We are using math as well as social skills on our voyage of Discovery. Students began a unit about the reasons the colonies wanted to separate from England. They understood that Parliament, the monarch, and colonial legislatures made laws for the colonies.
March 6-17
(The snow days made for choppy weeks!)

We completed our study of SOUND. Students made their own percussion, wind, and string instruments in order to show what they understood about varying pitch and volume.
Social Studies
Students completed and presented their colony projects. They are now on a scavenger hunt for information from each colony. We also began the Discovery sailing simulation and started a new unit about the conflicts leading to the American Revolution.
February 27-March3

We started our unit on SOUND. Sound is a form of energy that travels in waves in all directions. Matter has to vibrate in order for sound to travel, and sound travels fastest through solids. This was born home when I whacked each desk with a tuning fork while the kids had their heads down on the desk! Sound can be absorbed by soft surfaces and reflected by hard, smoother surfaces. The highness/lowness of a sound is called PITCH, which the loudness/softness of a sound is called VOLUME. We watched a video of a mouse and a gorilla and discussed the very different sounds that they make.
Social Studies
Most groups have completed the main part of their research project on a particular colony and are about 75% complete with their displays.

February 22-24

We reviewed the Laws of Angle of Reflection, Direction of Reflection, and Number of Reflections in a Corner mirror, all having to do with flat mirrors. We did a discovery phase with curved mirrors and found out that convex mirrors make the reflected image smaller but allow you to see more around the object, while concave mirrors make the reflected image closer and smaller. Concave mirrors also flip the image if held far away.
Social Studies
Students used their notecards to type the final draft of their research project.

We wrote laws about how mirrors reflect light. The Law of the Angle of Reflection means that a light ray will be reflected at the same angle at which it hits the mirror. The Law of the Direction of the Reflection means that a reflection in an odd number of mirrors will be inverted, but the reflection in an even number of mirrors will be normal. The Law of Corner Mirrors means that the smaller the angle of the mirrors, the more reflection will be seen.

Social Studies
We worked on colonial research projects using note cards as a means of keeping information organized as well as keeping track of sources.
January 23-27

We reviewed how vision is processed through the eyes to the brain (cornea, iris, pupil, lens, retina, optic nerve) and how light travels in a straight line. We explored this with flashlights. We then began on unit on lenses, transparent objects that can bend (REFRACT) light and change the path of light. We learned concave and convex.
Social Studies
We finished and shared our imaginative maps that incorporated map skills. We completed a short study of the Middle Colonies and also chose the names of our Discovery groups.

January 17-20

We discussed the visual pathway. The cornea is the clear covering of the eye that helps to focus the light. Light then goes through the pupil. The size of the pupil is controlled by the iris. Light is then further focused by the lens. Photoreceptors in the retina record the image (upside down) that is seen and convert the light into electrical impulses. The optic nerve then sends the electrical impulses to the occipital lobe where they are interpreted.
Social Studies
The middle colonies are New York (settled by the Dutch), New Jersey (settled by the Swedish), Delaware (settled by the Swedish), and Pennsylvania (settled by the English under William Penn, looking for religious freedom, especially for Quakers). All the colonies eventually were controlled by the English. This area was excellent for farming, and so much wheat was grown there that was called the “breadbasket” of the colonies.

January 9-12

We had MAP testing this week, so science was short. We began a unit on how vision works, beginning with how light, brain, and eyes are essential in order to see.
Social Studies
We began our Voyage of Discovery. Students learned map skill in preparation of making their own maps. We began a section on the Middle Colonies.
January 3-7

We worked on experiments involving reaction time. ZAP was an online activity, and students had to write about whether they responded faster visually or auditorally. We did a 5th grade CMT experiment with partners, Catch-It, and figured out how to use the scientific method to conduct a fair experiment. There is a brain test Monday.
Social Studies
We discussed the formation of the colonies of NH, CT, and RI and the effect of Puritan culture on the formation of CT and RI.

December 5-9

We discussed the right and left hemispheres of the brain and how each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. We took a brain inventory survey to think about how our own brains work. We also discussed the 4 lobes of the brain (temporal, parietal, occipital, and frontal) and the functions of those lobes.
Social Studies
We began learning about the colony started for religious freedom, Plymouth, in Massachusetts. The Separatists started this colony because they were not allowed religious freedom back in England by the Church of England. The significance of the first document about self –rule, the Mayflower Compact, was discussed.

November 28-December 2
Social Studies

We have spent the week in Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in the Americas. It was started in 1607by the Virginia Company to make a profit (they were looking for gold), but it ran into problems due to its swampy site, the lack of skills by the gentlemen in the group, and poor relations with the Powhatans. John Smith changed all that (“If you don’t work, you don’t eat”), but the colony had further challenges during what is called the Starving Time. 80% of the colonists died during a terrible winter due to disease, lack of food, and small battles with the Powhatans.
We just began our study of the brain. Students examined real skulls as well as plastic brain models to develop their own understanding of how the brain is structured. Instruction explained that the brain is divided into hemispheres, left and right, and that each hemisphere has some specific functions.

Science and Social Studies Summaries



We continued to learn about how the moon affects our life on earth. This includes what we see of the moon (phases), and when we don’t see the moon or the sun (solar and lunar eclipses).

Social Studies

After learning about the Spanish in the Americas, we have moved onto the English. The only problem is: Whatever happened to that first English colony in the Americas, Roanoke? We have watched two videos to find clues, and we have read our text book. Next week, we will read a longer literature selection so that we can write an argument paper with evidence.



Our monthly Engineering Exploration was about building an apple catcher. In regular science, we just began a unit about the moon, and students began a web assignment.

Social Studies

We studied the Spanish colonization of the Americas. We discussed how they made money (plantation crops and mining) and the enslaved workers that were used (Indigenous people as well as Africans) to do the brunt of the work. We are working on understanding the early slave movement through the use of primary and secondary sources.



We completed the last part of our study of Earth and its relationship with the Sun: seasons. Seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth in combination with its revolution around the Sun. When the NH is tilted toward the Sun, we have summer. When it’s tilted away, we have winter. When the Sun strikes the equator directly, we have the seasons of fall and spring. The two times of the year when the Sun hits the North or South Poles directly are called solstices. The two times of the year when the Sun hits the equator directly are called equinoxes.

Social Studies

We worked on using our senses to describe the setting of a particular Native American scene. We have gone through the processes of brainstorming, picking and choosing, refining, and began writing a paragraph.



We finished investigating how rotation causes day and night. The, we began to discuss how revolution and Earth’s tilt cause the seasons of winter, spring, summer, and fall.

Social Studies

We finished our small unit on the First People and discussed what they ate and how they got their food. We worked on a study guide for our test on Monday and prepared essay questions.



We discussed how Earth’s rotation resulted in day/night. We expanded on that to understand, with models and movement, how Earth’s rotates so that we have different parts of the day and night (sunrise, sunset, noon, midnight). We learned that shadows are longest when the sun is at a low angle (sunrise, sunset) and shortest when the sun is at the greatest angle (noon). We discussed opaque, transparent, and transluscent.

Social Studies

We began a short unit on the Algonquian Nation, the predominant group of indigenous people in the New England area. We have discussed their social structure and their belief system, comparing and contrasting both with our lives today.

We discussed how Earth is tilted 23 degrees due to a collision, millions of years ago, with matter that knocked it over a bit. This same collision created the moon. We did hands-on activities showing how the Earth is divided into 4 hemispheres: north, south, east, and west. We used models to show how the hemisphere ROTATING toward the Sun has daytime, and how the hemisphere ROTATING away from the Sun has night. Using Foucault’s Pendulum, we proved that Earth rotates on its axis. We ended the week with Engineering Explorations, making bridges

Social Studies

We discussed how to read a timeline with BC AD, BCE, and BE markers. We also learned how the prefixes deca, cent, and milli relate to time. We read various scientific accounts of when the First People (indigenous) came to the Americas and where they first settled. We are set to begin a short unit on the Algonquian Nation, the group of tribes who lived in New England long before the Europeans arrived.


We continued our unit on the solar system,but zoomed in to concentrate on how Earth’s position in the solar system affects how we live. We began with understanding how the Earth is separated into Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Social Studies
We shared our immigrant backgrounds, with students finding out that our families arrived as long ago as the 1500’s to as recently as a few years ago. This leads to the main focus: Who were the people who were already here when “Old World” immigrants arrived? We watched a video about these first people and will read differing scientific accounts of who they were and when they arrived.

September 12-16

(Shortened classes due to MAP testing.)
We devised the acronym sentence to help remember the order of the planets, and we also categorized them:
My Very Energetic Mother (rock planets) Jumps Slowly Under Nutella (gas planets). We also went outside and mapped their relative distance from the Sun. We ended the week by understanding/showing how two laws written by Sir Isaac Newton (Laws of Gravity and Motion/Inertia) explain Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

Social Studies
We took a map test of the continents and oceans. We also wrote a first draft of two paragraphs about our ancestors. The final draft is due, typed, on Monday.
September 6-9
We began our unit on the Earth’s place in the solar system. The essential question is, “How does our place in the solar system affect our life on Earth?” We discussed what a solar system is, that we use a heliocentric model rather than a geocentric model of the solar system, what the definition (3 parts) of a planet is, the order of the planets, and figured out different ways to categorize the planets.
Social Studies
The year-long theme of SS is The Story of America. We are starting with the immigrant stories of our own families. Students have researched how/when/why their families came to America, and we are writing a short essay about that. Many of the reasons that our own families came to America are the same as the people who settled the original 13 colonies. We also learned the locations of continents and oceans in order to better understand the distances that people had to travel to get to America.

Think about how instruments conduct sound. Percussion instruments are hit to make them vibrate. Stringed instruments are plucked or strummed to make them vibrate. Wind instruments are blown to make them vibrate.

You can change the volume of the sound coming from any instrument by making it vibrate harder or softer.

You can change the pitch of any instrument by increasing or decreasing the tension, such as tightening the cover of a drum or the string on a guitar. Increasing tension makes the pitch higher.

You can also change pitch by lengthening or shortening whatever is vibrating, such as the strings of a guitar. Shortening the vibrating part makes the pitch higher.

Social Studies

In order to pay for the cost of the French and Indian War as well as pay for the cost of running the colonies, the British Parliament made a new tax, the Stamp Act. This was a tax on anything printed on paper. Many colonists were furious. James Otis said, “No taxation without representation!” Patrick Henry was accused of treason when he spoke out against the tax in the House of Burgesses in Virginia. He said, “If this be treason, make the most of it!”
Science SummaryFeb. 29-Mar.4Curved mirrors can be concave or convex. Convex mirrors are most used in technology because they make the image smaller, but you can see more around the image. Think of security mirrors in stores or side-view mirrors on cars.Lenses can also be concave or convex. The most used lens in technology is the convex lens because it magnifies objects. Think of a magnifying glass!
Social Studies SummaryThe colonists and the British government differed over the Proclamation of 1763 which set aside land to the west of the Appalachian Mountains for the Natives. This upset the colonists because they couldn't expand their settlements past the Appalachians, and they didn't feel that the British government had a right to make this law because the colonists had no say in the law. The government liked the Proclamation because it made peace with the Natives and also kept the colonists in a smaller area that soldiers could manage.
The British government was in debt due to the French and Indian War and had to tax all its citizens, including colonists, to pay for it. The colonists were angry about this because they had to say in the matter. The first tax was the Sugar Act, which taxed sugar, among other items.
Science SummaryFeb. 22-26The Law of the Direction of the Reflection in Flat MIrrors: The image will be inverted side to side in an ODD number of mirrors and normal in an EVEN number of mirrors.The Law of the Number of Reflections in Corner MIrrors: As the angle of the mirrors decreases, the number of reflections increases.
Social Studies SummaryThe British won the French and Indian War. The French lost all of their land on the mainland of North America, and the British gained a huge amount of land from Canada south to Florida and from the 13 colonies west to the Mississippi RIver. The Proclamation of 1763 severely restricted how than land could be used, however. In order to make peace with the Native Americans, a very large part of the land west of the Appalachian Mountains was given to them. The colonists couldn't settle west of the Appalachians. Another reason that the colonists weren't allowed to settle west of the Appalachians was that the British didn't have the money and soldiers to keep the colonists safe if they spread out too much.

Feb 8-12
Light travels in rays in a straight line unless something changes its path. The speed of the light changes when light goes through different types of matter. Light will be refracted when it goes from air to water, for instance. Light will be reflected best when it hits a shiny, flat surface.

The Law of the Angle of Reflection in a Flat Mirror helps to predict where a light ray will reflect:
The light ray will reflect off the mirror at the same angle (such as 30 degrees) as it strikes the mirror (30 degrees).

Social Studies
Feb. 8-12

Laws in the colonies were made in 4 ways:
  1. 1. by Parliament back in England.
  2. 2. by the monarch back in England.
  3. 3. by legislatures in the colonies.
  4. 4. by the governor of the colony.
Most colonists felt that the monarch and Parliament shouldn’t be making laws for the colonies for two main reasons:
  1. 1. They were too far away to understand life in the colonies
  2. 2. The colonists had no vote to say who should be in Parliament making the laws.

The French and Indian War was a conflict between 1754-1763 over the fur-trapping and farming land in the Ohio River Valley. Both the French and the English wanted control of this area. The Iroquois were allies of the British, and the Hurons were allies of the French as they fought over this land. The British won, and France lost all her land in North America to the British. This was a HUGE event in the history of the colonies.

Science Weekly Summary

January 18-22

Read pgs. 8-9 in your book.

Light travels in waves in a straight line.

The light that we see from lamps, the sun, and other sources looks WHITE. Light is really made up of the colors of the visible spectrum:

red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. These colors all have different wavelengths.

Look through the prism. It will refract, or bend, the white light so that it breaks into the colors of the visible spectrum. Draw what you see:

So, why do we see color? The wavelength of that color is reflected, or bounced back to our eyes. Look at your color wheel:

If you see a red object, the red wavelengths are reflected but also a little bit of orange and violet wavelengths. The yellow, green and blue wavelengths are absorbed, or taken out.

Think about it: If you see a green object, what wavelengths are being reflected? What wavelengths are being absorbed?

The primary colors of pigment can be combined to make ALL other colors. The primary colors are red,blue, and yellow.

Use your color wheel and buttons to figure out what new color you will make if you combine

red + yellow

blue + yellow

blue + red

The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all the wavelengths, including visible light. Visible light is in the middle of the electromagnetic spectrum, and it is the light that we can see.
Light is white, but it is made up of all the colors of the visible spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. We can see these colors when white light is refracted, or bent. The prism we used refracted the white light into colors. Rain/water can also refract light, which is why we often see a rainbow after the rain.
We see the color of an object because that color is reflected to our eyes and the other colors of the visible spectrum are absorbed, or taken out. So, when you see a red apple, the red wavelength in the white light is reflected, and all the other colors are absorbed.

Social Studies
The later Southern Colonies started out as a big group, the Carolinas. They were land given by charter from King Charles II to eight men who were proprietors.
The Carolinas were first divided into North and South Carolina. North Carolina was a colony of small farms growing rice and indigo. South Carolina was a colony of large plantations that used slaves and also grew rice and indigo.
Georgia was the last part of the Carolinas to be divided. It was started by James Oglethorpe after he was given a charter by King George II. He wanted it to be a place where debtors could start a new life, but it eventually also became a colony with large plantations and slaves.
All the Southern Colonies were named after British monarchs.
New England towns were built around a meeting house. Middle colonies had market towns where all their produce could be sold. Southern Colonies, which had more spread-out farms and plantations, had county seats where the people could meet to do business.

Science and Social Studies Summaries
January 4-8

We are studying vision. In order to see, you need eyes, a brain, and light. Light enters the eyes through the cornea. Then it passes through the opening in the iris called the pupil. The iris can change the size of the pupil. The pupil gets larger in dim light and smaller in bright light. After the pupil, light passes through the lens which helps to focus the light. The light rays then go to the retina, the lining at the back of the eye. This is where the light rays form an image upside down. The lights rays are changed into electrical impulses that go to the optic nerve which takes them to the occipital lobe in the brain where the impulses are interpreted as what we are seeing.
The eye is a lot like a camera. The camera has a clear opening that works like the cornea. The camera has an aperature that lets in light just like the pupil does. A camera has a lens that focuses the light just like the lens of your eye. Finally, the camera has film or a memory card that records the image just like the retina does.

Social Studies
The colonies can be grouped as follows:
New England Colonies: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
Massachusetts was started by the Puritans and Pilgrims. Connecticut was started by Thomas Hooker for religious freedom from the Puritans. Rhode Island was started by Roger Williams for religious freedom from the Puritans. New Hampshire was started for business reasons.
Middle Colonies: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
New York, New Jersey, and Delaware were started by the Dutch and Swedish for business reasons, but they eventually lost their land to the English. Pennsylvania was started by William Penn for religious freedom for all people, especially Quakers. These colonies were a great place for farming, and they were called the “breadbasket” of the colonies.
Southern Colonies: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
We will add explanations about these colonies next week!

December 7-11

The brain is separated into 4 lobes. The frontal lobe controls emotion, movement, and thinking. The parietal lobe controls sensation. The temporal lobe controls understanding what we hear and memory. The occipital lobe controls vision.
Messages are sent through the nervous system by nerve cells called neurons. A neuron has a cell body with a nucleus. Information is brought into the cell by the dendrites. Information is sent to the next neuron through the axon, which is protected by the myelin sheath. Information “jumps” from the axon over the synapse to the next neuron.

Social Studies

The Southern colonies include Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The early Southern colonies include Virginia, which was started by the Virginia Company but eventually became a royal colony. Maryland was started by Cecil, Lord Baltimore, who got a charter from the king to start a colony that would be a refuge, or safe place, for Catholics.

November 30-Dec. 3

The brain is divided into two main parts: the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere. While both hemispheres work together, they do have some different jobs:
  • The left hemisphere controls everything on the right side of the body. It also helps with LOGIC and LANGUAGE (writing, speaking, reading)
  • The right hemisphere controls everything on the left side of the body. It also helps with CREATIVITY and MUSIC.

Social Studies
The Separatists wanted to separate from the Church of England. They came to America on the Mayflower because they wanted religious freedom. They were called Pilgrims because they were on a religious journey.
Before they landed in Plymouth, the men on the Mayflower (Separatists as well as men who were loyal to King James) wrote the Mayflower Compact. This agreement explained how they would make decisions for the common good. This was the first example of self rule in the colonies.

November 16-20

The moon has a gravitational pull on the Earth that causes tides. Higher than normal tides are spring tides.
Eclipses occur when one body is in the shadow of another body. A solar eclipse can occur during a new moon IF the Sun, Moon, and Earth are in a straight line. This means that the Sun goes into the shadow of the Moon.
A lunar eclipse can occur during a full moon IF the Sun, Earth, and Moon are in a straight line. This means that the Moon goes into the shadow of the Earth.

Social Studies

Jamestown almost didn’t survive the winter of 1608 because there wasn’t enough to eat. Only 60 colonists survived this winter, called the Starving Time.

1619 was BIG year in the Jamestown colony. It was the first year that slaves were brought to the English colonies. It also was the year that the House of Burgesses, the first government in the colonies, was started.

November 9-13


How does the Moon affect the Earth?

The Moon is a satellite of the Earth, which means that it is in Earth’s gravitational pull and revolves around the Earth. It takes the moon about 30 days to make one revolution around the Earth which is called the lunar cycle.

The moon is lit up, or illuminated, by the Sun. This means that the light that we see from the Moon really is light from the Sun that is reflecting off the Moon. We only see one side of the moon.

The phases of the Moon are the shapes that we see. These shapes happen in a predictable pattern. When the Moon is growing larger, it is waxing. When it is growing smaller, it is waning. (The picture of the phases wouldn't print.)

Phases on the Moon as seen from Earth Stock Vector - 16988260
Phases on the Moon as seen from Earth Stock Vector - 16988260

Social Studies

The first successful English colony was Jamestown. It was started by the Virginia Company to make money (profit) as well as look for gold. It was named after King James of England.

The place where they started the colony seemed like a good choice because it was right on the water, so ships could bring things in and out. However, it ended up being a bad choice because:

  • The English treated the Indians badly, so there were Indian attacks.
  • The water was bad.
  • The ground was too wet, so it was hard to build and plant.
  • There were lots of diseases, especially from mosquitoes.

There were other problems, too. The gentlemen of the colony didn’t want to work. John Smith, the leader of the colony, told everyone that if they didn’t work, then they wouldn’t eat. This got the colonists to cooperate a little bit better. They also found out that they could grow a very important crop, tobacco.
November 2-6

We reinforced that the seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth as it revolves around the Sun. The Northern and Southern Hemispheres experience opposite seasons in the order of winter, spring, summer, and fall.
The expository writing piece (What is your favorite seaons based on the activities of that season?) was organized by:
ANSWERING the question with a topic sentence.
EXPLAINING the answer with 3 MAIN IDEAS (activities).
SUPPORTING those main ideas with SPECIFIC DETAILS.
CONCLUDING the piece with a conclusion paragraph.

After revisions, students will type their final draft next week to accompany the art projects that they did about seasons.

Social Studies
Roanoke Island, the first English colony in the Americas, was started by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1587. John White, one of the colonists, had to go back to England for supplies. He couldn’t return for 3 years because of the war between Spain and England. When he did return, the colonists had vanished.

We watched a video and read two sources for information about this mystery. We wrote an opinion piece organized by:
TAKING NOTES about clues for each source.
HIGHLIGHTING the clues that were the strongest.
WRITING an opinion sentence.
SUPPORTING the opinion with 3 different clues.
EXPLAINING HOW those clues supported the opinion.
IDENTIFYING the source of the clues.