Sunday, November 6, 2016

Building a Transdisciplinary Unit

This week during Monday at writing we discussed the writing process that authors have to go through. We improved our writing about the drama creature since probably everyone missed something that was mentioned in the writing process.The drama creature is an animal that we imagined at drama. We had to create a habitat that it lives in and the specific details that explained how it was adaptable to nature, also adding character traits.In drama we created groups that were connected to our creatures, we acted out what the creatures would do if they met each other in the same habitat, also we presented what we did.

Yigit works on details of building his character and planning his writing.
Elena revises a sketch of her creature and begins to jot ideas and plans below her sketch

We logged on to google docs and studied the habitat our creature lived in, we looked for images that were similar to our creatures and wrote facts, we also revised and checked if what we wrote made sense.We watched how wolves saved the food chain and how the wolves changed the river. The river changed because of the roots of the trees, which were also fixed because of the wolves.

Veronika, Shourya, Aleksandras and Nora watch a video on trophic cascades and consider: how they can connect this information to previous learning, extend their thinking and what ideas have challenged them or left them with questions

Our class connections, extensions and challenges

by: Basel and Elena

It was our last week before the holiday but grade 4L were focused and learning in full-force this week! 

In math we continued to explore large numbers. We focused on reading and writing large numbers, as well as determining the value of each digit in a large number depending on its place. 

We also practiced gathering data and analyzing it. We used tally marks and line plots to find data landmarks like: maximum, minimum, range, mode and median. Those who are working on challenging themselves also read a math essay on how to determine the mean of the data. 

Rojus, Shourya, Krista and Veronika use the math wall resource while working with data handling

We learned a new subtraction strategy for Number Talks called "Add Up". Many students found this method was a good fit for them and suited their mathematical thinking process. 

Finally, we played math games to practice skills we independently determined we need to work on. 

Gerda and Sofia play High Number Toss and practice reading large numbers and identifying the value of different digits

Our 2nd unit of inquiry is extremely transdisciplinary as we have found authentic collaboration between language arts, unit of inquiry, art and drama. 

We began our thinking by imagining a creature in drama. 

4L then discussed the process they believe writers must use to create a good piece of writing. 

Grade 4L's feedback on the writing process

We used this process and began with step one: Planning. 

Summary of 4L's thinking in a graphic
Several students shared how they like to plan before writing.

Benas shares how he constantly revises (even in the planning stage) and leaves only things he's absolutely sure about in bold black pen

Nora shares how she likes to create a T chart when planning out her characters and setting
We used the topic of our drama creature and began building a plan using any strategy we found helpful.  

Antanas shares his planning process showing a graphic and a chart where he has collected thoughts and initial ideas

Eva shares her planning which involves a drawing with labels that stretch over to the next page to include more detail

Next, we read interviews with famous authors who described how they create believable characters. We used their insight and began to research real animals and habitats so that we could develop our imaginary ones. 

Sofia and Antanas research information on different habitats and take notes to help guide their writing
In art, we used our research and combined it with our imagination to draft artworks of our creature's habitat. 

Nora and Migle bring their ideas to life in art

Veronika shares her creature's habitat 

Gerda references her creature as she imagines the habitat and begins to sketch her ideas

As we begin to zoom out and see the big picture of our fantasy creature and world, we realise there is a need to revise and refine our thinking. Though our work is based on fantasy, we have begun to build an understanding of the central idea of our 2nd unit: "Living things need to change in order to survive."

We also enjoyed giving back to our larger community by raking leaves together with grade 10 students in Bernardinai Park. 

We celebrated Student Council's "Moustache Day" in style. Here you see us channeling our new moustachioed alter egos! 

Finally, we had the chance to celebrate our friend Nora's 9th birthday together. 


  1. Dear all, you are doing so many interesting things:)!!!

  2. Actually my job is to teach adults some of the things you are learning:). For example - impossible is nothing:). And what's your passion:)