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After students in our class shared their Science and Social Studies projects with each other, we invited the Grade 2 class to a second Science/Social Studies Fair, to learn about the topics we have been studying. Grade 4 students shared their knowledge of Ancient Civilizations and Grade 5's explained how inventors have used what they know about the properties of matter to create amazing products that we use in our everyday life.

Here are some photos from the fair we put on for younger students (click on any photo to enlarge it):

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

As a follow-up to Monday's Youth Teaching Youth Event at Mnjikaning-Kendaaswin Elementary School, Elder Two Bears, Mrs. Letiec's Grade 6 class and three staff members from Mnjikaning came to Rama Central today to share more of their culture and heritage with our Grade 5's.

Two Bears introduced and closed our session, and small groups of students from Mnjikaning taught small groups of Grade 5 students from our school about Turtle Island, The Medicine Wheel, Wampum Belts and Treaties, and First Nations self-sufficiency on the land.

Here are some pictures from today's visit (click on any picture to enlarge it):

Learning about First Nations culture and heritage (Grade 5 Social Studies curriculum) through face-to-face interaction with members of a local First Nations community is so much more meaningful, authentic and engaging than attempting to acquire similar knowledge via books or the internet. We want to thank the elders, staff and students at Mnjikaning, once again, for their kindness and hospitality!

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

Today, Rama Central's Grade 5 students had the privilege of attending a "Youth Teaching Youth" event on the Rama Reserve.  Grade 6 students and teachers from Mnjikaning-Kendaaswin Elementary School, and community elders, shared their cultural and environmental teachings with us.

2014-05-12 004The opening circle, which included Smudging and Water Ceremonies,
and a strawberry teaching

Our students also learned about the Metis, the War of 1812, had an opportunity to engage in some First Nations games and crafts, and were treated to a traditional First Nations meal. We want to sincerely thank our hosts for including Rama Central in this event, for the second year in a row.

Here are some photos from our amazing day at Mnjikaning (click on any photo to enlarge it):

2014-05-12 049Closing circle

The Grade 6 class from Mnjikaning-Kendaaswin Elementary School will be coming to Rama Central on Wednesday, to share more of their culture with us. This wonderful authentic learning experience fulfills Grade 5 curriculum expectations in Social Studies (First Nations culture and identity), while building positive relationships between students in our communities.

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

Today, we held a Social Studies and Science fair in our classroom.  Students had an opportunity to showcase for other students in our class the research projects they had been working on for the past month. They were also able to browse and learn about the topics that other students studied.

Grade 4 students completed travel posters for Social Studies, enticing people to visit ancient civilizations. Grade 5 students completed posters or Power Point presentations for Science (Matter and Materials), explaining how a variety of products are made and used.  In the next week or so, we will put the fair on again and invite younger students to come and see our class' work.

Here is a gallery of pictures from today's fair (click on any picture to enlarge it):

Click on the bulleted items below to view some of the Grade 5 Power Point presentations. (Note: These links will only work if your computer has the Microsoft Power Point installed on it).

Next step:  We will be inviting the Grade 2 class in to see our work.

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

Overall expectation #1 in Writing, in the Ontario Curriculum, asks students to "generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience." This project provided students with an opportunity to write for two purposes and three different audiences.

We asked the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre (KTTC) to help us turn our persuasive writing unit into something with a real purpose. Staff at the centre told us they would love it if we would write some letters aimed at persuading potential donors (companies and those offering grants) to support KTTC. They said they would also appreciate some kids' thank you letters that they could give to donors.

As you can see from the following pictures, working for a real-world client inspired students to do exemplary work. These are their persuasive letters (click on any photo to enlarge it):

These are samples of their thank you letters to donors:

We also wrote thank you letters to the staff and volunteers at the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre for the amazing work they do!  Here are samples of those letters:

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

This year, our persuasive writing unit fulfills Grade 4 and 5 curriculum expectations in Writing, Grade 4 expectations in the Science strand "Habitats and Communities," and Grade 5 expectations in the Social Studies strand "First Nations Heritage and Identity" (turtle symbolism)... plus, as a bonus, our writing may save the lives of some turtles! In consultation with staff from the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre, we are writing letters intended to persuade companies to support the centre.

kttc-logohttp://www.kawarthaturtle.org

The Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre, in Peterborough, is a twelve year old Canadian registered charity that rescues, rehabilitates and returns to the wild over 1,000 turtles per year. The centre also engages in wild and released turtle population research, conservation initiatives such as establishing "eco-passages" that allow turtles to cross under busy roadways, and education outreach.

After students' persuasive letters are graded, and writer strengths and "next steps" identified, the letters will be forwarded to the to the turtle hospital. Staff there will include student-authored letters with applications for support from companies.

We began the project by educating ourselves about Ontario turtles, and the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre. Seven out of eight species of Ontario turtles are at risk!

turtle-species-posterhttp://saveconcordwest.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/ontario_turtles.jpg

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These videos and websites provide a good overview:

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Based on what we learned, we brainstormed information about the role of turtles, why Ontario turtles are at risk, the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre and how people can help. This is what we came up with:

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Next, we discussed the elements that make a good persuasive letter and agreed upon the following success criteria (click on the photo to enlarge it):

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Then, we began planning our letters and authoring first drafts (click on any photo to enlarge it):

After drafts were edited by peers, students began to write good copies of their letters and draw pictures of Ontario turtles on them (click on any photo to enlarge it):

Students are taking great care with this project.  In a future BLOG post, we will share the final products!

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.