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3-5 Assignments

5th Grade: The States!

posted Apr 24, 2012, 12:16 PM by   [ updated May 17, 2012, 3:17 PM ]

Here are some resources for learning about your state:

History of the 50 States

Links, lists, and facts, such as a list of Famous Louisianans.

State Websites: Type in your state's abbreviation and .gov into the address bar to go to that state's page.  Examples:,,
    On these pages, look for "tourism" or "visit"

US Census Bureau Quick Facts
Statistics like population, demographics, economy, business

Lonely Planet
Travel site with things to do and see all over.

Brochures, Maps, and Budgets

  • Start creating your brochure in Pages.  Go to the Template Chooser and use the "Classic" template.
  • Map out your route in Google Maps.  Be sure to print a screenshot of your map, rather than the map itself (otherwise it will print all the directions!).
  • Create your budget in a Google Spreadsheet.  Use this spreadsheet as an example.
For content, follow the guidelines below:

State Report Outline-Updated.doc

Gr. 3: Advertising

posted Mar 13, 2012, 1:54 PM by   [ updated Mar 20, 2012, 1:58 PM ]

Ad Types

Most advertisements fall into a few categories:

Celebrity Ads: 

Bandwagon Ads:

Friendly Face Ads:

Before and After:


We're going to make up an ad for a product.  Write in this form what your product will do, what it will be called, and what your advertisement will be like.

Your ideas!

Making the Ad

Using the Ad template, write up the name of your product, the slogan, and the description.  Take a picture of yourself to place in the ad.  This might be a happy face, a recommendation, you using the product, or a before and after.  Drop your picture in the /Users/Shared/

Gr. 5: Summarizing

posted Mar 8, 2012, 2:01 PM by   [ updated Mar 8, 2012, 2:06 PM ]

The ability to summarize what you have read is an essential research skill.  When you look for information, you can't just copy and paste what you find into your own work.  If you're going to write about a topic, you have to have a clear summary of it in your head first.  To build that summary, you start with information.  You need to read it, understand it, and be able to express it in your own words.  Summarizing is great practice for doing research.

How to summarize a passage

  • Skim the text to get a general idea of the topic

  • Ignore unnecessary or redundant material

  • Find the main ideas in the text: look for words like therefore, in conclusion, or in summary

  • Find or create a topic sentence

  • Substitute general or "umbrella" terms when you can (for example,trees instead of oak,maple, and pine)

  • Explain new vocabulary from the text or replace it with your own vocabulary 

  • Here is a sample for the class to do together: How did people solve a problem?


    Below are three passages for you to read.  For each passage, write a note card that summarizes it.  You may only use one side of the card.

    Grade 3: Opportunity Costs

    posted Feb 28, 2012, 2:05 PM by   [ updated Mar 6, 2012, 1:14 PM ]

    Surprise!  You're getting a thousand dollars!  But you can't keep it: it's your budget for a job you have to do.  The job is to set up student hangout room for the school.  You're going to need to buy EVERYTHING needed for the room.  Here's your shopping list:
    • 42 inch TV
    • TV stand or wall mount
    • DVD or Blu-Ray player
    • Video game system
    • Speakers (stereo or surround sound)
    • Movies
    • Couch or comfy chairs
    • snacks and drinks
    • refrigerator
    When you go shopping, you'll have to make decisions about which things are most important, what you can do without, and what's a good deal.

    1. Start by going to and searching for the item.
    2. Click on Shopping to find products you can buy.
    3. Write down the item, the cost, and the link to it.
    4. Enter the items into this budget spreadsheet.

    Grade 5: Easter around the World

    posted Feb 28, 2012, 9:18 AM by   [ updated Mar 1, 2012, 2:22 PM ]


    Students will research how Easter is celebrated in a specific country and create a web page that describes what they've learned.

    Step 1: Researching

    • Create a Google Doc. Title it with your number, name, and "Easter in..." your country.
    • Look for information about how Easter is celebrated in your assigned country.  When you find something, organize your research in this way:
    • this is a fact from the page
    • this is another fact
    • this is a fact from the page
    • this is another fact
    • When you find images you want to use, include the image, URL of the image, and URL of the page the image came from

    Step 2: Creating your web page

    1. Open the site you will create your page on.
    2. Create a new page.  Name it your number and the name of your country
      • Example: 00 USA
    3. When you've created your page, change the Page Layout to One Column (NOT One Column Simple)
    4. Your page will have four parts
      • A paragraph describing Easter in your country
      • A bulleted list of facts about how Easter is celebrated in your country
      • Footnotes that link to your references
      • Images

    Step 3: Formatting

    How to create footnotes
    1. At the end of your fact, write the footnote number.
    2. Highlight the number and go to Format --> Superscript.
    3. In the footer section, write the footnote number and then the title of the page you found your fact on.
    4. Highlight the footnote and add a link to the source of information.

    Gr. 5: Haikus around the world

    posted Feb 16, 2012, 2:52 PM by   [ updated Feb 16, 2012, 2:52 PM ]

    1. Download the file Haikus.kmz and open it in Google Earth.
    2. At each stop, write a haiku inspired by the image.
    Here's how to edit the description and add your own haiku:
    1. Right click on the title of the placemark and select Get Info
    2. Scroll down to where it says "Replace this text with your own." Delete this and write out your haiku.
    3. This placemark is written in HTML code.  To get a "break" at the end of each line of your Haiku, add this tag: <br/>
    Here's an example:

    Looping and whirling<br/>

    Roller coasters are so fun.<br/>

    Until I vom-vom.

    5th Grade: Ben Franklin Interviews

    posted Feb 1, 2012, 10:33 AM by   [ updated Sep 22, 2015, 1:09 AM ]

    This project overlaps with 5th Grade writer's workshop for two weeks.  In week 1, we will research Ben Franklin and come up with interesting questions to ask him.  In week 2, we will write the answers to these questions as Ben Franklin would have answered them.

    Week 1

    We're going to start out by researching Ben Franklin.  Follow these instructions to save your information:
    1. Create a Google Doc to save your research.  Share it with Mr. Dreyfus and Ms. Litzenberger.
    2. Name it with your number and "Ben Franklin Research"
    3. When you find a site with information you want to use, copy and paste the address into the Doc
    4. Below the address, summarize any interesting facts from that site in a bullet list.  Use your own words.  DO NOT COPY AND PASTE.

    Basic Guidelines for Researching

    • Know your source: historical societies, universities, public organizations, or media publishers (TV, magazines, books) are reliable sources.  Wiki sites like and Yahoo Answers are the Internet's equivalent of asking some guy on the street, and are not as reliable.
    • Use readable sources:  if the writing is hard to understand or the article too long, try another page.  Searching "<your topic> for kids" is a good way to get easier to read information.
    • It's called REsearch.  That means search, then search again!  Use what you've learned to think about the next set of questions you want to ask.

    Writing Questions

    Read over this list of question types:

    What do you notice is different between the questions at the top of the page and the questions at the bottom?  Which do you think would make better interview questions?  Consider this as you write your questions. You need to have 10 open-ended questions written out. Do not write questions like "Where were you born?" A better question would be, "how you think your upbringing influenced your life?"

    This video will help you think more about good interview questions:

    Week 2

    Using the research strategies discussed in class, answer each of the open-ended interview questions you wrote last week. Remember, you will be answering the questions as Ben Franklin!

    Write an introduction to your interview. Imagine you are a well-known TV personality who regularly interview important people!


    To film your interview, we will first film you asking all of the questions. Then we will film you (dressed as Ben Franklin) giving all the answers.


    Split up the clips of your two videos so that it goes back and forth between you as you and you as Ben Franklin! Add news style titles and music to your video.


    To publish, share your video to a file and upload it to Google Drive. Be sure to share it with Mr. Dreyfus and Ms. Litzenberger!

    4th Grade: Lunch Design Challenge!

    posted Jan 27, 2012, 9:07 AM by   [ updated Mar 2, 2012, 8:24 AM ]

    Every day at this school you receive the following items with your lunch:
    • cardboard tray
    • water bottle
    • milk carton
    • plastic utensils
    Every one of these materials gets used once, then thrown away.  What a waste! 

    Your challenge: to design an invention using a combination of these materials!  Your invention MUST BE:

    • Useful: must be designed to fill some need
    • Usable: easy to use
    • Unique: must not copy anyone else's idea or design
    • Rugged: must be able to stand up to daily use
    You may use small amounts of the following additional materials in your design:
    • Rubber Bands
    • Glue
    • Adhesive tape
    • Sticky tack
    • Other material approved by Mr. Dreyfus


    1. At lunch today, do your best to keep your materials clean.  Take them home and spend the weekend brainstorming an idea for an invention.  Use the "I Intend to Invent" form to describe it.
    2. Working with a partner, decide on a final idea for your invention.  Partners will design it together in Google Sketchup.
    3. Mock up your design in Google Sketchup.
    4. Write a set of instructions for how someone else would build your product.
    5. Build your final product, taking pictures along the way and adding them to your instructions.
    6. Name your invention and present it to the class.
    7. Publish your instructions on the Internet!


    Halle & Lucas
    Matthew & Julia
    Gabby & Reid
    Natalie & Carter
    Gia & Cameron
    Laren M & Lauren D
    Kevin & Lindsey
    Sophie & Vito
    Katie H & Alex
    Rachel & Grant D
    Grant B & Caroline
    Isabella & Maddie K
    Wesley & Rebecca
    Keoni & Jackie
    Laura & Dominic
    Abby & Mckenzie
    Celeste & Eliana
    Katie C & Maddie J

    3rd Grade: The Water Cycle

    posted Jan 23, 2012, 3:35 PM by   [ updated Feb 1, 2012, 9:57 AM ]

    Today we're going to explore the Water Cycle!  While we look at some information, fill in this sheet of Water Cycle vocabulary.

    First, let's watch this video:

    Next, let's get a better picture of how all the water moves around.  Check out these animations:

    Activity 1: A Droplet's Story

    When you've got all the vocabulary words, turn over your paper and write out a story on the back.  Imagine that you are a droplet of water.  Explain the changes you go through as you travel around and through the water cycle.  Be sure to use as much of the vocabulary as you can.

    Activity 2: Filming Your Story

    Working in pairs, tell your story while your partner records you.  First, decide which picture you'd like to use as your background (see Attachments).  When you start recording, introduce yourself and then start telling your story.  With your droplet on a stick, show where the water moves on the picture as you tell the story.

    4th Grade: Intro to Invention and Design

    posted Jan 23, 2012, 2:31 PM by   [ updated Jan 23, 2012, 2:31 PM ]

    As you begin studying the process of INVENTION, we're going to be coming up with our own inventions in Technology class.  We'll be designing our inventions using Google Sketchup, a 3D drawing program.  To get started with Sketchup, follow the tutorial below to create a house!  This will give you a good idea of how to use the various tools within Sketchup.

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