4th Grade SAGE: 1st Semester UOS


Unit of Study Updates

We have completed the first semester of SAGE work this year. Our students have been busy learning new and exciting concepts in their units of study. Read on to learn more about our Unit of Study work so far!
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Zoology: Investigating the Animal Kingdom

Zoology is a year-long exploration of the wonders of the Animal Kingdom. Overarching themes for this course include comparative anatomy, animal life processes, animal behavior and classification. Our focus this semester has been on learning about the characteristics of animals and animal classification. To begin the year, students defined the characteristics that animals share. Next, students moved on to learning about animal behavior and the scientific method by designing their own lab about roly-poly behavior. Next, students began working on learning about the characteristics of members of Phylum Annelida – segmented worms. They studied living worm behavior and dissected an earthworm to learn about annelid characteristics. Finally, students have been studying the characteristics of members of Phylum Mollusca. This phylum includes squid, clams, octopi, etc. In studying this group, students have also been dissecting a squid to study its external and internal anatomy!

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Pixar® Methods: Introduction to Character Design

In the Character Design unit of study, students think and learn critically by analyzing the work of professionals at Pixar® Studios. During 1st semester, students learned character design techniques from A Bug's Life, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, and Cars with a focus on research and development. Student designers used facial expressions to show emotions, posture and body part placement to show personality traits, and physical characteristics like fur, scales, and clothing to add to a character’s personality. One challenge was to create a monster character and then create a "world" for the character. Another challenge was to bring an inanimate object to life. In the Maquette Challenge, students created a clay sculpture for a character and learned about the rigging process used at Pixar®. Throughout the semester, students kept a digital portfolio of their character designs.
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Design Your Dream Space...Interior Design

It has been a fun and exciting semester in interior design! Students jumped into the world of design by exploring and looking at the various design styles of professional interior designers. They learned about the career of interior design and the difference between interior decorating and interior design. It has been fun to see each student gravitate towards their preferred design style and to hear the student’s conversations with each other defending their personal style! Students have also been busy identifying and analyzing the five elements of interior design, building their vocabulary to use professional language, along with using critical thinking to identify what effect different elements of design have on interior spaces. Each student has created their own presentation of the five elements of interior design and are anxious to show you their work!
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Star Wars® Maker Lab

Our focus this past semester has been to develop an understanding of how an electronic circuit functions as a system. The students have created working circuits utilizing various configurations of batteries, alligator clips, and lightbulbs or LEDs, created diagrams to show how a circuit functions as a system, and used the iterative design process to test, troubleshoot, and redesign circuits. In addition, Star Wars Makers have studied principles of design and used them to create a hilt for a light saber. They have learned how to use a craft knife, a Dremel tool, and a drill press or drill to complete different parts of their light saber.
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Lights, Camera, Broadcast!

Planning, shooting, and editing video packages are the skills we’ve focused on in Broadcasting this semester. Students wrote questions and interviewed other SAGE students for a Student Spotlight segment. Then, they learned to use Adobe Premiere to edit their videos and add transitions, text and background music! Recently, we have started filming our SAGE News shows to share with our SAGE peers. We are excited to continue this work throughout the second semester!
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Design Your Thoughts in…Drawing

We have been busy working through the chapters in Design Your Thoughts in Drawing. The first chapter focused on sketching lines and patterns. The line is the basic element of art. It makes the eye move, gives direction, and conveys feeling. Patterns are made of repeated lines or a combination of lines, and shapes can add texture and interest to objects. We learned different lines are expressive and can show strength, calm, change, motion, intensity, and more. With chapter two, the focus was on

freeform drawing or “doodling” as a creative way to practice sketching skills, add character to projects, and communicate ideas. The students took these new skills and created a ‘Selfie Sketchnote’ with doodles of things that they love, or things that make them happy. We are currently working on chapter three where the focus is on observational sketching. So far, the students learned to make a drawing more realistic, it’s important to observe your subject closely to really see the details.

The Intermediate SAGE Team

Tracy Dick

Kristi Black

Amy Cox

Julie Goldsberry

Kathy Perez

Erin Nash

Connie Eovino

Important Upcoming Dates/Events

January 17 - No School, MLK Day

January 18 -Second Semester Begins

February 18 - No School, Professional Development

February 21 - No School, President's Day

March 14-18 - No School, Spring Break


PAGS is a group for those parents whose children attend the SAGE center in the North Kansas City School District. It is intended to keep us connected!

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