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Government 101: Yes We Can!

Recycle some Christmas tree branches for the sake of teaching government

By chance, my government unit blends right into the real-world political scene as we welcome our 44th President, Barack Obama, through the Inauguration Ceremony on January 20th. Can you think of a better time to stop and talk about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Amendments, and the 3 Branches of Government? I can't, and I am happy these concepts fall under our fourth grade teaching standards. I'd like to share my lesson plans and direct resources being used to teach this unit.

*Pictured: A Christmas tree branch, a hook that screws into the branch, fishing line, index cards, and some leaves= "Branches" of Government project.

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Animated Cell Interview: CrazyTalk Program

So wonderful Scholastic contributor, Linda Foote, introduced me to CrazyTalk 5.1 last week. If you have never heard of this program before, you can turn photos or drawings into realistic pieces of animation. This includes eye, mouth, and head movement that goes with imported voice recordings. I downloaded the program on Sunday (49.00 dollars) and was finished with production on Wednesday.  All work was completed by the students, including the script, filming, editing, and tech. skills (ex- animation, green screen work, etc.). Photos from behind the scene are now included for your viewing pleasure.

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Halloween Vocabulary Book Parade

Vocab_group_2

My school holds an annual character book parade on Halloween. The premise sounds great, kids dress up like characters from a book, but something smelled fishy to me last year. Noticing that this was still a Halloween parade with a strained tie to some book, I knew we could create a stronger tribute for bibliophiles alike. Thanks to Debra Frasier, author of Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster, we found a solution that is fun, cheap, and involves everyone!

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Latitude/Longitude: Recess Treasure Hunting

Gps_device

Why teach latitude and longitude using paper and pencil when technology allows you to do so much more?  With a simple GPS device, turn your budding archaeologists into treasure hunters during their recess time.  The only requirement would be an understanding of latitude and longitude on your students’ parts, and one GPS device for your room.

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Easy Movie Making with a Green Screen

Greenscreen

Would you believe me if I told you that it is easy to create a green screen video for little to no money at all? With some green or blue butcher paper, a free 30 day trial download of ULead Studio 11, and a video camera, you are five steps away from easily making a quality movie with your class.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Inside Angela's 4th Grade Classroom are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.