Specials Curriculum Update

April 2017

Library/Information and Technology Literacy

April is National Poetry Month!

Mott & Hicks - Preschool

This month, students in the Mott and Hicks Classes have been reading books about spring and gardens. We read Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming. To celebrate National Poetry Month, students have read poems about vegetables in the garden and about Earth Day. We have also read various poems including dinosaur poems from Dinothesaurus by Douglas Florian. We continued to practice checking out books in the library.

Rustin - Kindergarten

The Rustin Class has been reading poems about gardens and dinosaurs. They have also learned about and read reverse poems from the book Mirror, Mirror by Marilyn Singer. Most recently, the Rustin Class used their five senses to describe an object to create a poem.

Penn - 1st and 2nd grades

This month, the Penn Class explored various ways to write poetry. During the paper bag poetry game, students were blindfolded and asked to describe mystery objects using their five senses. Their descriptions were then used to create a poem. Students also wrote poems based on nature photographs that they took outside on the playground. We have read and shared poems by Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein. Students have continued to practice their keyboarding skills using learning.com.

Fox - 3rd and 4th grades

Do you know who Gwendolyn Brooks or J. Patrick Lewis is? For National Poetry Month, the Fox class has been learning about famous poets. Students have been researching a poet’s life, gathering information about the types of poetry they write, and finding examples of their work. Currently, students are learning how to add pictures and text in Google Slides to create digital posters about their poet to add to the Library’s Poet-Tree.

Helman-Osborn - 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades

In 5-6 and 7-8 ITL classes, students created book spine poems. Students found books in the library about a topic using OPALS, the online library catalog. Then, using the title of the book on the spine, students stacked and rearranged their books to create a short poem. We have also read the Langston Hughes poem My People and compared the reading to the book My People by Charles R. Smith, who has taken beautiful photographs for the poem. We discussed how the photographs added extra emotions to the poem and made the poem more powerful. Students then selected a poem about Earth Day and are currently adding images, drawings, and/or photographs to create a digital representation of the poem.


Music classes started the month by building instruments to display at Arts Night. The middle school students went on to compose music incorporating their original instrument. We have started playing guitar (middle school), recorders (Fox class), and boomwhackers (Preschool, Rustin, and Penn).


Hola amigos! Spanish classes have been going well for all our friends. Mott, Hicks, and Rustin Classes continuee with our songs, introducing ourselves, counting, and colors. The Penn Class is learning parts of the face, as are our friends in the Fox Class, and we've also been reviewing numbers higher than twenty. The H-O students are continuing with the textbook as we try and incorporate even more opportunities for conversation in class. The 7/8 students have also watched some selected segments of a show called "Hijos de las Estrellas" (Children of the Stars). This Chilean series tells a story of various civilizations in the Americas and their relationship with the stars and planets and how it has helped shape our understanding of these cultures as well as our current understanding of the universe. The series is visually stunning, informative, and gives the students a chance to listen to a diverse range of Spanish speakers.