Year 4 - Beech & Elm
Welcome to Year 4!
22 October 2021
We have been doing lots of writing in Year 4. We have read the dilemma story, The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry, which was all about a man coming into the rainforest to cut the Kapok tree down. All the living things that inhabit the rainforest whispered reasons for why he should not cut down the tree that might persuade the man to change his mind. Inspired by this, we did some drama and thought of our own reasons why he should not do this, based on our learning about the rainforests. We then wrote our own versions of this story. Some of us even changed the dilemma, based on the other threats to the rainforest that we have found out about this half term. To test our persuasion skills even further, we have also written a letter to the man, in-role as one of the creatures that lives in the rainforest, giving our top three reasons why he should not cut down the tree. Our persuasive skills have become even better as a result of doing this work, so watch out parents!
In the last newsletter, we told you about our upcoming end of topic presentation. We have now completed our Newsround-style report using green-screen technology. Each presentation demonstrates what we have learnt about the importance of the Amazon to the future of our planet. These recordings are now on Seesaw for parents and children to view together.
To end our first half term, we have had Arts Week, themed around nature. To begin, we found out about a famous artist called Andy Goldsworthy who uses nature to make art. After doing some research, we then planned our own artwork before going out onto the field. We worked in groups to make our own art using the things we could find around us and built it on the same site we found them, just like Andy Goldsworthy. You may even still see some of it on the field now!
We have also explored different poems with animal themes. At the end of the week we will be performing the poem ‘Dog’ by Ted Hughes using different performance techniques such as actions, varying the number of people saying the lines and repeating certain lines. We also explore the poem ‘The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog’ by Allan Wolf and compared it with the poem ‘Dog’. We noticed the rhyming structures and used these poems as inspiration to write our own poem with an animal theme.
The Year 4 Team would like to take this opportunity to thank the children for all their hard work this half term and the parents for their continued support. We wish you all a safe and restful half term break and look forward to seeing you all in November.
1st October 2021
Since the last newsletter, we have been very busy in Year 4. In geography, we have been learning all about the different types of rainforests in the world but our focus has been on the Amazon, a tropical rainforest. We have explored the different layers, both what they are called and the types of animals that live there. We are very pleased with our ‘lift the flap’ work that presents what we have found out!
To complement our learning about the layers of the rainforest, we have explored why the rainforest is so vital to the world. We have found out that the Amazon is known as ‘the lungs of the Earth’ due to how much of the world’s oxygen it produces, as well as absorbing carbon dioxide and other nastiness in the air. Very clever and important functions! Unfortunately, we have discovered that there are also many threats that the rainforest faces, particularly deforestation. We have discussed ways we can protect the rainforest and written promises on leaves to add to our classroom kapok tree display. Next, we will be using this information in our end-of-topic presentation by creating a Newsround-style report using green screen technology to show what we have learnt about the importance of the Amazon to the future of our world.
In art, we have been inspired by Dina Farris Appel’s watercolour jaguar, which shows a reflection of a forest fire in its eye and a tear falling. We wanted to recreate our own version of it, so to begin,we practised our sketching techniques of different animal eyes by looking closely at the shapes and the patterns of the fur or skin around the eye. Then we selected our chosen animal and sketched it onto watercolour paper, before adding colour using watercolour pencils and water. We now just need to add some green leaves to make it look like the animal is hiding in the bushes, peering out at the forest fire. We are very proud of our work so far and hope you are too.
17 September 2021
'Me in a Bag'
The Year 4 team have been very impressed with the way the children have started settling into Year 4. So that we could get to know each other, the children were asked to bring in a bag with three items that represented them. Then, they showed their class these items and explained what they meant. The children then wrote about their items and have presented this beautifully for display in the classrooms.
The Amazing Amazon
At the start of our first full week back, we received a letter. We were very excited and speculated that it might have come from Father Christmas! We decided however, that it was more likely to be connected to our new topic, ‘Why is the Amazon Rainforest so vital to the world?’ As the envelope opened, we could see a logo and the top of the letter said,
It looked very important and we listened carefully as the letter was read to us. It gave us a mission, if we were concerned enough to accept it – we decided that we were! We would like to tell you about the mission we were given by the Planet Protector Academy and how we are going to complete it… but we fear we may have said too much already! All we can say to the people that want to harm our planet is HANDS OFF!