In recent weeks, the Grade 3 students have been deeply engrossed in the study of ecosystems, delving into their Generative topic: “?אם אין אני לי מי לי, וכשאני לעצמי מה אני, אם לא עכשיו אימתי” This profound saying, originating from the Mishna, roughly translates to, “If I don’t do it for myself, who will, but if I only think of myself, what kind of person am I? If we don’t act now, then when?”

Within the classroom, these insightful concepts have been applied to the Language Arts curriculum, particularly in the exploration of different parts of speech. Our students have come to understand how the collaboration of these elements is essential in effectively conveying their ideas. They expressed this learning through their poetry writing, and learned how to write beautifully descriptive poems

Turning their attention to SES (Science), the students immersed themselves in the study of the natural world. With a specific focus on ecosystems, they came to understand how living things rely on other living and nonliving things to thrive. Students studied the 4 main categories that living things need to survive: food, water, shelter, and space. They also studied how the food chain is made up of living organisms that rely on different things for nutrients but which all require energy from the sun. These food chains of living organisms make up larger food webs which depict the interdependency of all creations. Each falls under different categories such as producers, consumers, decomposers.

The culmination of this multifaceted learning journey materialized in the Ecosystem Diorama Project that briefly adorned our school’s main floor. This project seamlessly integrated their comprehension of independence and interdependence in the natural world. Consisting of three distinct components—a food web mapping sheet, a poem describing their chosen ecosystem through expressive language, and a creative diorama showcasing the living and nonliving creations found in their chosen ecosystem (Ocean, Rainforest, Prairies, Coral Reef) — the project stands as a testament to their understanding of the intricate balance within ecosystems.

You can read more about the Grade 3’s study of ecosystems in the Heschel Gallery, where the ecosystem studied through the life of salmon has been expressed in a beautiful mosaic.

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“Through the Classroom Window” is an opportunity for teachers to share the inspiring learning that takes place in their classrooms, giving others a glimpse into the heartbeat of the school.

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