All posts by Liz Friesen

L. Arts Mini-Spark #39: It’s All About the Heart


For many years, the heart was a mystery.  What did it do?  What was it there for?  Let’s learn all about this muscle.


This TEDed lesson will help you investigate how the heart keeps you alive.


 Years ago, people thought emotions came from the heart!  Read this article to find out more about how the heart works.

Show What You Learned

 Choose one of these prompts and respond with 3-5 sentences.

What are some ways to keep your heart healthy?

What are the four chambers of the heart called, and what does each chamber do?

Why was it so difficult for scientists and doctors to figure out what the heart was for?

Take It a Step Further

Create a visual explaining how the heart works.  Include as many details as possible.  Please share this project with your teacher.

L. Arts Mini-Spark #38: The Mystery of the Upside-Down Catfish

Learn about the interesting Upside-Down Catfish by completing the following…

Start by watching a video about them:

Show what you learned by choosing three of the prompts to complete.  Post your response as a comment or email your response to the EY coordinator at your building.

  • Using many details, explain why an Upside-Down Catfish swims upside-down.
  • How is this fish camoflaged?
  • What part of the video was most interesting to you and why?
  • What other questions do you have about Upside-Down Catfish?

Take it a step further by conducting research to find another animal that has camoflage.  What part of the animal is camoflaged? How does this help the animal?

L. Arts Mini-Spark #36: Homographs

Why do homophones seem to get all the attention?  A homophone, as you probably know, is a word that sounds the same as another word, but with a different meaning or spelling.  For example, their, they’re and there.  Or no and know.

But do you know what a homograph is?  A homograph is a word that looks the same, but has different meaning and perhaps different pronunciation.  Here is a sentence that uses the homograph “dove.”

The dove looked elegant as it dove underneath the tree branch to catch the bug.

Here is a sentence that uses the homograph “bank.”

After swimming at the river bank, we went to the bank to get some money to buy ice cream.

Some more examples of homographs are bow, book, subject, duck, wound, tear, contract, and model.  There are many more!!!

In the comment section below, write a sentence using a homograph with both of its meanings like I did in the examples above.  For an EXTRA challenge, write a sentence that uses two homographs with both of their meanings.

If you enjoyed this reading enrichment, take a look at Reading Enrichment #10 which is also about homographs.

L. Arts Mini-Spark #35: Living Poetically

Many years ago, it was common for students to regularly be assigned the memorization of a poem or part of a historical document.  Today, that does not happen in schools as regularly.  But, did you know that memorization is good for you???

Here are three big ways that memorization will improve your reading and speaking skills.  First, reciting a piece that is memorized will help you learn to articulate your words (speak clearly).  Second, memorization has been shown to increase your vocabulary because you familiarize yourself with words that you may have not otherwise come across.  Lastly, increasing your vocabulary has been shown to increase your reading comprehension.  Wow!

What should you memorize?  Anything that interests you!  Go to your school’s library and check out some poetry books.  There are funny poems, serious poems, silly poems, informational poems—I’m sure you can find one to interest you.  The following link has some more suggestions of what to memorize AND gives some pointers on how to memorize.

The EY Coordinator at your school would love to get a recording of you reciting a poem or part of a historical document.  Are you up for the challenge?