During Week 3, Grade 3 strengthened their conceptual understandings of the information gained in Weeks 1 and 2. This was a great week of experimentation and exploration.
The children expressed an interest in learning about different survivors, so we focused on the harrowing story of Winston Kemp, a man who just wanted to save his pumpkins. The children then spent time independently learning about other people who have survived extreme weather events.
We also discovered a box tornado simulator that we then constructed in class for Showcase. Luckily, we were able to complete some of the tornado simulators by Showcase. We had originally planned to play Phenomena, but Showcase was a rainy day.
In the fourth week of inquiry, we tackled some complex subjects, specifically the topic of climate change and Earth's atmosphere. We read a NASA book that explained the basics of what an atmosphere is and discussed the children's burning questions. The Grade 3 kids made strong connections to their Grade 2 space unit, and already understood that the atmosphere protects the planet from meteors.
To learn about how the atmosphere helps balance temperatures on Earth, we conducted some outside experiments and digital experiments using a helpful atmosphere simulation. We learned that sunlight carries heat and light energy. We also learned that greenhouse gases hold heat.
The kids were able to connect rising greenhouse gases with warmer temperatures on Earth.
We ended Week 4 by looking at some new technologies that are trying to help people prepare for the more extreme weather trends in the future.