4th Grade Communications - JOURNEYS

REMEMBERING: What is a journey?
a trip, either to a real place or in your mind; but longer than a regular trip or vacation; you learn something along the way
UNDERSTANDING: What are some examples of journeys?
trips, vacations, reading a book, in your imagination, growing up
APPLYING: We wrote down our ideas about the journey of a piece of driftwood from its point of view.
ANALYZING: What are the parts of a journey story?
problem, a reason for going on a journey, the beginning middle and end of the journey, obstacles in the journey, a solution to the problem and maybe a lesson from the journey
EVALUATING: We read some stories and decided if they were journeys of some kind. We read The Three Questions and The Gift.
CREATING: Write your own narrative of a journey of some kind. Select your genre (graphic novel, realistic fiction, fantasy, science fiction, tall tale, fairy tale...), create your characters, generate a problem, design a journey (with obstacles!) and determine a solution. We will post our journey writing pieces here to share with classmates, teachers, family and friends.

Check out our writing on our website featherpen.com!

A Virtual Journey to Oklahoma
As part of our study of various types of journeys, we have connected with a fellow group of thinkers in Asher, Oklahoma (see our friends on their site: Asher Elementary School - GT). We are getting the opportunity to teach each other about ourselves and our home state. First, we met each other using Skype and shared some information about ourselves and our hometowns. Then, we put together a box filled with things that represented Yarmouth and Maine to send to our new friends. They sent us a box, too - we were so excited when it arrived!
When we opened our box, we found it filled with interesting goodies! There was a smaller box inside with some natural items:

Photo_233.jpg From left to right, you'll see mud dopper nests made of the red mud that is common in Oklahoma (Mud Doppers, or yellow jackets, usually build these nests in the summer in the nooks and crannies of a barn or shed); cotton, a common crop in OK; a rock from Asher; a bag of grain you would feed a horse - to represent the abundance of horse farms in Oklahoma (the most popular breeds being Quarter horses and Thoroughbreds).

The box also contained a magazine with articles and ads reflecting life in OK, a state map, a baseball from the local team, a book, a bag from OK State University AND....our favorite treats: peach syrup and peach salsa! We tasted both, of course! Although we grow peaches here in Maine, too, the big, juice sort they grow in Oklahoma are different.

We recorded our reflections about what the contents of the box taught us about our friends and their state. Then we compared Maine and Oklahoma and organized our thoughts in a venn diagram: Maine & Oklahoma We also recorded some questions inspired by the arrival of the box. We want to know more!
  • What is the latitude and longitude of Asher, Oklahoma?
  • How many peaches are harvested in Oklahoma each year?
  • What other sports teams are near Asher besides baseball?
  • What are Tulsa and Oklahoma city like - can you describe them?
  • How big is the town of Asher in square miles?
  • Do your rivers and lakes have a lot of ports? Are they busy with ships and people like Portland, Maine?

Next, we are preparing to Skype with our friends to share information on something more specific about our home state. We're researching nor'easters and other ocean storms off the coast of Maine while the folks in Asher are gathering information about tornadoes. We can't wait to learn more, so stay tuned!

Interesting websites about nor'easters and other ocean storms
Interesting facts about nor'easters, hurricanes, storms....
Nor'easter History
What is a nor'easter (north easter)? "deep low pressure systems that form over the United States and once obtaining a feed of warm, moist air, as they approach the Atlantic, they can grow explosively why moving off shore, parallel to the coastline" (The Handy Weather Answer Book); "a strong northeast wind OR a storm with northeast winds blowing" (Webster's School Dictionary)
Hurricanes vs. Nor'easters
January 1956 - huge nor'easter that caused freezing weather in Florida, ice in Jamaica and temps up to 50 degrees in the northeast (The Handy Weather Answer Book)
The Finest Hours - an interview with an author of this book about a devastating nor'easter and an amazing rescue at sea
February 1969 - snow records in New England - 70 inches in Rumford, Maine; Mt. Mansfield, Vt. 114 inches of snow; Pinkham Notch, NH had 164 inches (almost 14 feet!) (The Handy Weather Answer Book)

Hurricanes: can be 500 miles wide and winds of up to 150 mph! could make 2.4 trillion gallons of rain in a day! Most hurricane deaths are caused the storm surges, which are big waves up to 25 feet (National Geographic Society - Weather)

December 1992 - nor'easter: 19 people died; damage almost $2 billion (The Handy Weather Answer Book)

Hurricanes: in the northern hemisphere, hurricanes spin counter clockwise and in the southern hemisphere they spin clockwise; the worst hurricanes number 12 on the Beaufort Scale; a hurricane is 1,000 times more powerful than a tornado (Weather)
Summary of book "Real Pirates" - this gives you peek at the nor'easter that dragged down a pirate ship in 1717

History of the pirate ship Whydah - find out the whole story on this site!