Last year in fourth grade, fifth graders studied environmental engineering, focusing on cleaning up an oil spill. This year, their focus is still on water, but cleaning it in an entirely different way. They'll quickly see how many parts of the world do not have access to quality drinking water and how cleaning it can actually be a possibility.
With substantial understanding under their belts, fifth graders are extending their foundation in environmental engineering. We've reviewed that environmental engineers can work on solving problems in the environment's air, water, or land and that these three are completely integrated with one another. Because fifth graders have a solid foundation in this field, some of the questions they developed are quite interesting!
Our first notebook entry has focused on the importance of diagrams in engineering. Diagrams, which are often seen in non-fiction texts, are an important feature that gives information and tells us something specific. Second graders had to diagram two technologies we focused on last year in 4th grade: a Maglev train and a shin brace.
We established a set of "rules" to follow when completing a diagram in class.
Rules for Diagrams
1. It must have a title.
2. Label just the "right" amount of parts.
3. Labels must be near the parts they identify.
4. Straight arrows must connect the labels to the parts.
5. It must be neat!
Consider reducing your impact on the environment by drinking from the tap. We've got access to safe drinking water, so why not drink it!?!?