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Fourth Grade
 

Click on the link below to view a description of a curriculum unit that exemplifies how different core subject areas are enacted within a particular grade. These descriptions provide a glimpse of life inside SCCS.

Ancient Rome Human Body

 

History: Ancient Rome
Rome
 
Rome
Rome

A major part of the fourth grade curriculum is the study of Ancient Rome. Using a time line that encompasses 1000 years of history, students encounter the legends, the individuals, the inventions, the laws, the language, the military, and the culture of Ancient Rome. Throughout this curriculum, we find ways to bring this historical time period to life. Each student is given a Roman name that will appear somewhere in the curriculum narrative. Students engage in role-play as a vehicle to explore the conflicts that arose among people living within a class based society. They engage in problem solving as they look at photographs of artifacts and figure out what they were used for and what they tell us. For example students may explore the rise of trade among geographically and culture diverse peoples. Each student then chooses a topic such as Mosaics, aqueducts, Mt. Vesuvius, Roman numerals, religion, or galleys to research. We culminate the study with a Roman Museum where each student acts as a guide for parents and friends taking them through the museum and explaining to them their peers' as well as their own exhibits. The students also work in the technology lab to create a virtual museum for people to visit and explore.

Human Body Study
Human Body
 
Human Body
Human Body

In fourth grade students learn about the human body as they discover how complex systems, including the respiratory, digestion, circulation, and nervous systems, work together to keep us alive. As part of this study, students dissect beef bones and chicken wings to examine first hand the different parts including the skin, fat, muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments. Not only does this activity bring to life the things they are learning in books, it challenges assumptions about bones as old, dry and hard, and wings as simply bone and skin. Students also reassemble articulated skeletons from owl pellets and in the process discover that how closely the bones making up the skeleton of a white footed mouse resemble our own. During this study, students learn how at the most basic level we are made up of cells. By comparing cells to cities students learn about the function of individual cell parts and their essential interrelatedness. In their pictorial representations students have to figure out how they will metaphorically represent the different parts of the cell and make visible something that appears so small as to be seemingly invisible.

After getting a sense of the importance of cells and how they work together to make tissues, which work together to make organs, students are ready to learn about the major systems of the body. Each system is explored through a series of diverse activities including research reading, guest speakers, hands-on activities, and mini-lessons. The study culminates in the creation of a Human Body Fair where students work in small groups, each constructing a station that focuses on a specific system of the body. In this way, students have an opportunity to learn from each other and to share their learning with a wider audience of friends and families.


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