Category Archives: Learning Opportunities

Social Studies Spark #53: The Constitution!

Sunday, September 17th of 2023 was Constitution Day!

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who are born in the U.S.
or by naturalization, have become citizens.
On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created.

The Constitution is the framework for the federal government of the United States. It is the highest form of law in the country. The Constitution creates the branches of government and gives them the power to govern. However, it also protects the citizens of the United States and guarantees their basic rights.

A primary aim of the Constitution was to create a government that would be powerful enough to run the country, but would not impose on people’s or state’s rights. To avoid too much power being held by one person or group, they created the Balance of Power between the three branches of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.

Articles of the Constitution

The Constitution is organized into seven articles:

  • Legislative Power
  • Executive Power
  • Judicial Power
  • States’ Powers and Limits
  • Amendments
  • Federal Power
  • Ratification

Ratification

In order for the Constitution to go into effect, 9 of the 13 states needed to ratify it. The first state to ratify the Constitution was Delaware on December 7, 1787. The last state was Rhode Island in May of 1790.

Interesting Facts about the Constitution

  • James Madison is often called the father of the Constitution since so much of his work and ideas were incorporated into the final document.
  • Governor Morris wrote the Constitution and is widely credited with authoring the famous preamble.
  • 39 of the 55 delegates at the convention signed the document. Many who refused did so because of the lack of a Bill of Rights.
  • The US Constitution is the oldest written constitution still used in the world today.
  • The Constitution that is on display at the National Archives was penned by Jacob Shallus.
  • There are currently 27 amendments to the Constitution.

Watch the Schoolhouse Rock video below to learn more about the Constitution:

Finally, go to this link to try a quiz!

How did you do? Answer in the comment section below.

Early Enrichment #62: Comets!

What is a comet?

Comets are large objects made of dust and ice that orbit the Sun.

Scientists believe that comets are made up of material left over from when the Sun and the planets were formed. They think that about 100,000 million comets orbit the Sun. Some comets orbit the Sun like planets. Their orbits take them very close to and very far away from the Sun.

As of 2014 there are 5,253 known comets, a number that is steadily increasing as they are discovered. However, this represents only a tiny fraction of the total potential comet population, as the number of comet-like bodies in the outer Solar System is estimated to be one trillion. That’s a LOT!

Learn more about comets by watching the video below.

Go to this link to learn more about comets by reading a small article and then answer the question at the bottom.

Did you get it right?

Language Arts Mini Spark #72 – Golden Line Writing

Stretch your thinking and unravel your ideas with this Golden Line activity!

Step 1: Watch this introductory video about the Golden Line Writing Activity.

Step 2: Print this page or open a new Google Doc and begin writing with the provided “Golden Line” by  C.S. Lewis.

Golden Line Activity

Step 3: Now that you have experienced this writing strategy. Research some other quotes that would make great writing prompts. Make a list of three to five quotes.

Step 4: Submit your Golden Line writing (Step 2) and list of quotes/prompts (Step 3) to your building’s EY Coordinator.

Newspaper Engineering

Newspaper Engineering

NOTE:  You don’t have to get the daily newspaper to do this mini spark.  Ask your neighbors, ask your teacher and/or EY Coordinator and have fun!

Challenge # 1:  Build the tallest freestanding tower with only 2 sheets of newspaper and 12 inches of tape. No wedging or taping to the table or floor! You can manipulate the newspaper in any way you wish.

Challenge #2: Using 10 sheets of newspaper and 18 inches of tape, build a tower that holds a textbook 6 inches above the table for at least 3 seconds. The tower must be free-standing, which means no taping or holding to the table.

Challenge #3:  Use 3 large sheets of newspaper and 24 inches of tape to make a piece of clothing that you can wear.

When you’re finished with your projects, take a picture and email it to your EY Coordinator.

FOOTBALL STEAM

It’s Fall Y’All and when I think of Fall, I think of FOOTBALL!

For this STEAM mini spark, you will need to…
  1. Build football goal posts out of materials you have around your house.
  2. Fold a paper football (instructions linked below)
  3. Design an experiment, create a competition, or come up with your own original idea to use what you built.  Your project should include collecting some sort of data and analyzing it.
  4. Share your project with your EY Coordinator.

Paper Folding Football Instructions:  https://www.instructables.com/How-To-Make-A-Paper-Football/

Football Image Source: https://openclipart.org/detail/102853/football

# 94: Pixel Power

Image result for pixels are.

Pixels are the smallest unit in a digital display. Up to millions of pixels make up an image or video on a device’s screen. Each pixel comprises a subpixel that emits a red, green and blue (RGB) color, which displays at different intensities.
In this mini spark, you will learn about the basics of pixels and pixel colors.  You can extend your learning on this topic by completing the Pixel Power Badge! (coming soon)
Step 1:  Start by taking out your math notebook or opening your math mini spark doc.  Put the date at the top and put the title of this mini spark. Record all of your work on this page.

Step 2. Use this slideshow of images, which zooms a picture of raft. The final slide shows that the entire photo is actually made from individual squares of color. How does looking at these pictures help explain creation of the digital images that you see? What other images might you see today that are made from pixels?
Step 2: Watch these two videos. The first video is a reminder binary numbers. It will help to see this before watching the second video.
Take notes as you watch both vidoes.

After watching the second video answer these questions in your notebook.
What is the RGB name for turquoise?
How does a computer name turquoise?
Draw the math steps that were used in the video to explain how a function is used to filter an image.
Step 3: Turn your notes and responses to your teacher or EY coordinator.

Flower Power

Spring is in the air! Learn all about the blooming power of flowers and then do a hands-on activity creating a blooming flower and card to give to someone special.

Step 1: Watch this Mystery Science video about how flowers bloom.

Step 2: Gather needed materials to complete the activity.

  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Dot Stickers or Tape
  • Plastic Paper Plate or Bowl

Step 3: In this activity, you will make a colorful paper flower and a greeting card that they can give to any special person in their life. When placed in water, the paper flower will unfold, appearing to move and bloom in front of your eyes! You may want to use this as a Mother’s Day activity, but you choose who will receive the card, so it can be for anyone special.

Click on the image below to print template and view step-by-step instructions.

Once your flowers are complete, place them in water to watch them bloom!

Extension: You can see for yourself how water moves inside a plant. Fill a glass with water and add a few drops of red or blue food coloring. Place a white flower in the glass. Wait a few hours and watch to see what happens. Look closely at the flower petals. What do you notice? Repeat this experiment, but use a stalk of celery or a lettuce leaf. What do you predict will happen?

#93 Cake Pop Math

Did you hear that Scooter’s Coffee broke the Guinness World Record for the largest cake pop?!  This mini spark will give you the opportunity to learn more, explore spheres, and maybe even make your own cake pops!

Activity choices for this math mini spark

#92: 18 Ways NASA Uses Pi

π Day 2023

Pi is one the most studied numbers in mathematics and on March 14 (or 3/14), we celebrate Pi Day because 3.14 are the first digits of pi.
 Post a comment about something new you learned!