Grade 4 Africa Studies

Grade 4 Africa Studies

Jambo! Each year the 4th grade embarks on an educational journey to explore Africa. They begin by covering the continent as a whole, then delving deeper and focusing on a week long study of each region. They discuss the countries, climate, landforms, historical influences, languages, and cultures. To accompany their regional work, they also explore a tribe that resides within that part of Africa. Afterwards, they select a country of choice and begin to study this location by researching landforms, languages, currency, location and borders, and places. The students are asked to devise an itinerary for their country of places that would be most interesting to visit. Places such as museums, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, national parks, and safaris are researched and information is written into “postcards” detailing their excursions. This year, they also created video postcards, in which they utilized green screen footage to superimpose photos of their “trips” behind them, while they dictated their postcards in a voice over. The 4th graders wrote advertisements for their country, and also wrote Diamonte Poems to describe the beautiful and exciting countries that they were studying. While all of this went on in the classroom, they rehearsed African folktale plays in drama, and batiked clothes in Art class, which would be used as their costumes. During technology classes, students learned how to create a pages document with an informational table, which served as their brochure. This 5-month study culminated on the day of the “African Travel Agency” where the students showcased the fruits of their labor to their families and the St. Michael’s community. They presented their plays in the morning,...
Plays in Grade 3 and Grade 4

Plays in Grade 3 and Grade 4

The past two weeks have offered the St. Michael’s theatrical audiences some wonderful viewing, as Mrs. Johnston’s young actors presented the culmination of their work in drama class. Grade 3 Presents: A Chinese Tale “Single Grain of Rice” Last week, the 3rd grade presented the Chinese tale “A Single Grain of Rice”.  The story about how a clever peasant convinced the royal family to let him marry the princess was entertaining and fun for all.  Actors in both grades worked hard to learn lines and blocking, created interesting characters, collaborated to bring their scenes and stories to life, and gave very entertaining performances. Grade 4 presents: African plays “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” and “Why the Sky is Far Away” This Thursday morning, the 4th grades enacted a pair of plays in conjunction with their study of the African continent.  Mrs. Joubert’s class performed the folk tale “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters,” while Mr. Tutino’s class offered the allegory “Why the Sky is Far Away.” Both plays were presented in the round, with creative staging and choreography, and actors looked fantastic in the African cloth costumes they had created in art class! We want to echo the audience’s enthusiastic applause and say once again – great job to all the...
C.A.T – Children Are Teachers in Grade 2

C.A.T – Children Are Teachers in Grade 2

Second grade parents were introduced to some very special ‘people’ last week during C.A.T.-Children are Teachers. Each student selected a notable person to research. After reading their biographies, the children wrote reports which included facts about their major accomplishments and observations related to our Traits for Success. Each person studied used several Traits for Success in order to achieve their goals. They also suffered a variety of setbacks which they had to overcome. Knowing that even these noteworthy, accomplished people struggled in some way was truly eye-opening for the second graders. After completing their written work, the children created ‘hanger people’ which was a creative visual representation of each person. It’s amazing what you can do with hangers, oaktag, construction paper, buttons, yarn and in some cases, neckties! We are so proud of the work done by the second...
Earth Week

Earth Week

Earth Week, April 24-27, is an opportunity to focus on protecting the Earth’s resources. During the week of April 24-28, St. Michael’s students will be learning about natural resources and taking action to make a positive difference in our community. Monday April 24, 9:50 a.m.: All-school Earth Week Assembly All School Dress Down Day (wear the color green in honor of Earth Week) Wednesday, April 26, 6:30 p.m.: St. Michael’s-sponsored documentary “A Plastic Ocean” at Jane Pickens Theater. Open to public. Tickets on sale now. Click HERE. PURCHASE TICKETS All School Challenge: “Waste-Free” lunch week All students and staff members are encouraged to bring in lunches that do not contain disposable plastic. Broken Toy Drive: Happen’s Toy Lab in Ohio is a place where kids and adults can create their own toys using their minds and imaginations along with our collection of recycled toy parts all of which were donated by the community. St. Michael’s students and families are encouraged to donate broken or unwanted plastic toys throughout the week. Science Class Field Trips: Tuesday, April 25: 5th grade to salt marsh Wednesday, April 26: 7th grade to cliff walk Thursday, April 27th: 8th grade campus clean up Friday, April 28: 6th grade to First Beach for clean up For additional resources about Earth Week, click HERE   Family Outdoor Challenge “We tend to block off many of our senses when we’re staring at a screen. Nature time can literally bring us to our senses.”–Richard Louv In Richard Louv’s Book, Last Child in the Woods, Louv presents a case that children in today’s world are so overscheduled with adult-led...

From the Desk of Mr. Zurn – April

Dear St. Michael’s Parents, I hope that each of you had a chance to slow down a bit during the spring break and enjoy the first glimpses of the season ahead. The upcoming months are packed full of projects, activities, and special events as we wind our way to graduation. Highlights of the weeks ahead include: April 22 Parent’s Association Gala Week of April 24 Earth Week Celebrations Week of May 1 Teacher Appreciation Week May 9 8th Grade Senior Reflection Speeches May 19 Aquidneck Island Student Band Concert May 21 ArtsFest May 28 St. Michael’s Field Day June 5 Early Childhood Graduation June 7 St. Michael’s Graduation Many people work together to make all of these activities and events run smoothly. Fittingly, April is Collaboration Month at St. Michael’s and there are many opportunities for students to learn the skills and positive attributes of working well with others. See below for an article on the importance of Collaboration. Here’s to April sunshine… John H. Zurn Head of School Collaboration Russian psychologist, Lev Vigotsky, postulated that learning is a social process deeply connected to language acquisition. He argued that children learn through their interactions and communications with each other and, by extrapolation, how children learn these social interactions should always be a major focus of their schooling. Today’s workforce, in fact, demands that students learn how to work collaboratively with others. Future employers will hire people who know how to successfully engage others and how to collaborate with others to yield successful results. At St. Michael’s, collaborative lessons might look like this: In history class, five eighth grade students...