Kathy and Scott’s Class:

November 12, 2012

Fall has greeted us with some cooler temperatures and beautiful colors. Things have been moving along rapidly in the classroom as we have explored the characteristics and history of the Earth while studying Geology. We have taken field trips to the some of the most geologically impressive sights in the state. We explored the Ordovician and Devonian aged fossils near Brookville Reservoir in eastern Indiana and the Falls of the Ohio State Park near Louisville, Ky. Just last week, we visited the Indiana State Museum to check out their exhibits on the Earth’s history.

We are about to wrap up our investigation of the Earth and start to take a look at Art in more detail. Our culminating event for the Geology unit will be a Museum Exhibit which will be displayed at the Open House on November 12th.

Through a new theme on Art, we will explore two concurrent threads. One, in language arts, focuses on poetry. In The Art of Poetry and the Poetry of Art, we will take a series of field trips to the IU Art Museum. The first in the series was a docent-led tour of the first floor gallery exploring the elements of art in selected paintings. In addition, we were able to observe a restoration in-progress right in the gallery, which was especially interesting. During the second visit later this month, we will return to the first floor gallery and choose a work of art that speaks to us. Once we choose our work, we will engage in a detailed observation of the piece as well as sketch it. Upon returning to class, we’ll compose poetry inspired by the piece we observed. After our poems are completed, we will exchange them with classmates and create paintings inspired by our classmate’s poetry. The culminating event for this unit will be an art exhibit at school and poetry reading at the museum on Saturday, December 8.

Our second thematic exploration of art will revolve around the elements of art and design. We will begin by discussing how one might gain the most from visiting an art museum. We will explore and apply studies of color, pattern, composition, shape, ideas, symbols, perspective, abstraction, fantasy, landscape, portraiture, and other themes. We will develop a portfolio of artwork over the course of this theme.

The social studies theme on immigration will begin with group and independent readings, with the purpose of providing background knowledge on the history and issues surrounding immigration and to gain instructed practice reading for information. As we progress into our focus on immigration later in the semester, students will choose a group of American immigrants to research.

Our class has been working on Conflict Resolution during the afternoons. We have been learning strategies and tips in helping ourselves and younger students solve conflicts. As the oldest students in the elementary school, we have an obligation to help our peers and the students in grades 1-4 solve conflicts peacefully. Demonstrating the ability to help mediate conflicts is an important part of our curriculum and a great way to give back to the community.

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Scott and Kathy

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