Year 3/4 spent the day at the Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens and York Minster. We had a wonderful workshop with Mark all about prehistory - from the Stone Age through to the Iron Age. We handled some real artefacts from thousands of years ago and tried our hands at a few prehistoric activities: making pygmy pots, weaving, cave art, building a Mesolithic tepee and creating Iron Age coins. At the Minster we went on a treasure hunt and explored the history of the building, and enjoyed lots of sun and fun in the Museum Gardens!
This week we are having a week to look at the important areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. We designed some bird feeders a couple of weeks ago and chose our favourite as a class. We will be building this design this week, as well as drawing our design on the computer, carrying out a science experiment to find out the best place to put our completed design and creating adverts for our newly constructed bird feeders. Watch this space for pictures and updates...
STEM week seems to have sparked our curiosity, and already we are asking brilliant questions. I will be posting the questions (and the answers - when we find them out) right here, so stay tuned!
Q: Do birds have teeth?
A: No, they don't! They use their beaks to tear up their food instead.
Q: If chlorophyll is what makes leaves green, why do some plants have purple leaves?
A: Chlorophyll, the thing responsible for photosynthesis in plants, is just one of the dyes in leaves. In most plants it is chlorophyll that gives leaves their green colour. However, there are also other dyes in leaves that give them their colour and in some plants these other dyes change the colour of the leaves to a red or purple colour! Plants with red or purple leaves still photosynthesise, but green leaves do it better when there is less sun.
Q: Why do birds fly in a 'V' shape?
A: There is a reason they do this, and it's really quite clever! Basically, when bird flap their wings, they create a gush of air that flows upwards. By flying a 'V', the bird behind can use this gush of air from the bird in front to help them fly. It means the bird behind uses less energy and so can fly further! Go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25736049 for a video that explains it further.
Q: Which birds fly the fastest?
A: Well, it seems to depend what the bird is doing in the air. The fastest bird when flying along in a straight line is a bird called the White-Throated Needletail, which can fly as fast as 105mph! However, a Peregrine Falcon can go as fast as 242mph(!) when it is in a high speed dive. It does this dive when it has spotted some prey, and it dives in to catch it. Pretty fast, eh?
Q: Why do hens lay different coloured eggs?
A: The colour of the egg will depend on the breed of chicken, apparently. There are lots of different types of chicken (just like there are lots of different breeds of dog: Labrador, Poodle, Jack Russell, Spaniel, etc.) and so different types lay different coloured eggs. Interestingly, throughout egg-laying season, each hen's eggs will get lighter as they lay more!
World Book Day at Headlands this week had a non-fiction focus. Year 3/4 Green looked at atlases and we played the alphabet atlas game: the challenge is to find a country, city and river for each letter of the alphabet!
Our Design and Technology project for this term is to design and build our very own pyramid. We will be planning out how we're going to build it, what we'll make it from, how big it will be and how it will hold together. We'll then get to build it in our group, following our design. At the end we will evaluate how good our design was, what we did well and what we could've done better.
Thursday 22nd January
Yesterday Year 3/4 had a special treat when Rachel from the music education group came in to teach us a gospel song. We learned the words, added actions and did a final performance... Check out the photos to see us learning it and the video of our final performance below.
We have been learning about Egyptian writing. They wrote on a special paper called papyrus and they used a type of picture writing called 'hieroglyphics'. There were over 700 different hieroglyphs, and many of them stood for more than one word or sound.
We wrote our names in hieroglyphics on real papyrus!
Our topic for most of this term is 'Ancient Egyptians', and I am looking forward to learning a lot about this fascinating civilisation. To get you thinking, a couple of Egyptian-themed puzzles...
How many words of 2 or more letters can you make from the word
You can only use each letter once per word
If these are the Egyptian numbers:
Can you work out any of these problems and write the answers in Egyptian symbols?