Couriosity guided our work during the month of April in the elementary classroom. As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, our first through third graders selected Natural Wonders of the World for their International Festival research and presentations. Ryan read about the Amazon Rainforest; Nick discovered the beauty of the Grand Canyon; Aleksandar stuck to his Serbian heritage and researched the Djavolja Varos; Allie and Annika plunged into Victoria Falls; Quinn and Zach bundled up to learn about the Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights; Madelyn and Mason revealed the majesty of Mount Everest; and Kassie and Skylar swam through the beautiful Great Barrier Reef. This was quite an extensive project for our students. After selecting their Natural Wonder, they chose topics for their research reports. I provided them with a list of 12 from which to choose, and they narrowed it down to eight that were of interest. After selecting their Wonder and creating an outline, students then called the local library to request books about their Wonder and the topics they wanted to include in their research report. I was impressed with their etiquette on the phone. Even the librarian complimented your children’s manners. Students picked up their library books and began reading. They were so interested to learn about these great places. Everyone asked if we could take a field trip to their Wonder. Wouldn’t that be awesome!The reports were very impressive, full of detail and well written. The next step was to take their new knowledge and write a creative skit to be preformed at the International Festival. Watching their minds race through the possibilities and sharing their ideas was inspiring. Each partnership came up with a different idea and I was so happy with how they turned out. I hope you were able to see the Festival or at least watch the DVD. One of our wonderful parents has been able to get us 12 microscopes, 6 compound and 6 dissecting. Students were given individual lessons on how to operate the two types of microscopes. Continuing to follow the students’ curiosity for nature we explored several natural items under the microscopes. We even looked at our own skin as a cut, then each day as it healed. One creative student came up with the idea to examine a booger. It was quite a hit! We were also amazed at the incredible veins on various kinds of leaves. Students also brought in items from home to examine. Our classic reading adventures this month have been with the fun-loving, energetic Anne of Green Gables. This story has inspired us to get up and act! As we read, if there is an unfamiliar word, our Dictionary Helpers look up the definition and our Actors act out the word as it is used in the story for clarification. These activities have become a joy for us all to watch. A personal favorite, I have enjoyed reading this book with your children. Several of them have finished the book well before the entire class. We will be continuing to read this story into the month of May.