Have you discovered Wonderopolis?

Throughout this year, I have been visiting a website called 'Wonderopolis'. It is an excellent resource for all primary school levels and I just love that it answers questions that children have posed.

This is one that I used this year with my Year 4 class while we were investigating health and hygiene practices.

Wonderopolis: Why do you need to wash your hands?

All the Wonderopolis topics are posed as questions and have a video or photos, text answering the question (which can be listened to if required) as well as 'wonder words' related to the topic and activity suggestions. 

I have often used the site as a springboard into a topic or to promote further questioning. As an adult, you can subscribe to their email list to get each new 'wonder of the day' in your inbox. I use this as a way of matching the new wonders to what we are learning. You can also search the wonders to find one that suits your purpose.

Students can ask their questions by clicking on 'what are you wondering?' link, and vote for wonders that others have asked in order for them to be answered.

I have found this to be a great resource that is pitched at the correct level and allows for all students to access and understand the world around us. I hope you enjoy exploring the wonders of WONDEROPOLIS!

Thanks for visiting!

Science Festival

Last year, my school hosted an Arts Festival to showcase all the incredible Visual and Performing Arts we do. This year's Festival was all about Science!

4H's design brief for their packages
4H's package design procedure 
Year 4 package evaluations
Packages and photos of the contents.
Packages and photos of the contents

In Year 4 for Term 3 our Science unit was a Primary Connections unit called "Package it Better". Through this unit, our students learned about materials and their properties. My class designed, created and evaluated packages to protect a LEGO model (Series 2 Mixels). These packages, along with a lot of photos and written evaluations were displayed in the Year 4 corridor during the Science Festival.

Package it better
Term 3: Package it Better

Also on display were Year 4 karakuri camshaft models. These paper camshaft models were created from a model book, then each student got to design a 'scenario' to attach to the model. We had a lot of zombie hands reaching from the grave!

Karakuri book used to create models

Year 4 Karakuri designs

While parents and students were looking at the packages and camshaft models, at the other end of the corridor (where there is a ramp) we were investigating gravity and friction using different sized and weighted balls. This is from Term 4's Primary Connections unit, "Smooth Moves".

Smooth moves
Term 4: Smooth Moves

One of the challenges with this activity was making sure the balls rolled down the ramp and corridor in a straight line, and didn't bump into people passing through the corridor. Lots of people joined in and had fun with this hands on activity.

Finally, in the 4H classroom, we had a 'make and take' type activity. We had resources and instructions for families to create a friction creature to take home. The idea for this came from 'The Usborne Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do', pages 56 - 57.

Big book of science things to make and do
Awesome Science book! 

In order to speed up the process of creating the friction creatures, I created a page of bug, spider, lizard templates to colour and cut out (the instructions suggest they draw their own). Once their creature was cut out, they threaded two pieces of drinking straw onto a long piece of wool. The straws were attached to the back of their creature, and once they had beads tied to the ends of the wool, they were ready to test out the property of friction.

Families creating Friction Creatures

Year 4 had a wonderful time creating their items for the Science Festival, and I know all the other teachers and students worked hard to ensure it was a success! My teaching partner Mark did a fabulous job of being the Science Festival coordinator this year and it will be hard to top this wonderful celebration of all things Science!

Once I have my scanner working, I'll post an update with the hand-drawn friction creature templates as a FREEBIE!

Thanks for visiting,