Click to Home

Go To Search
Report Absences
4th Grade


Inventions & The Young Inventor Challenge


This science unit will turn the 4th students into a classroom of inventors. They will gain insight into the creative process of inventing as they research inventors and see how their inventions have changed our lives. Students will practice the creative thinking process by brainstorming, tinkering, and actually creating their own inventions. Students will gain an understanding of the need for inventions and the importance of original thinking. They will learn about how inventors have contributed to society and how to patent, advertise and market an invention of their own.

In addition, students will have the unique opportunity to participate in a local Young Inventor’s Challenge. The Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) brings together imagination, play and inventive thinking with the annual Young Inventor Challenge (YIC), to be held at the Fair on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at Chicago's Navy Pier, Festival Hall A. The contest is open to boys and girls ages 6 to 18, and participants must create their own original toy or game invention to be judged by popular vote by the Fair's 20,000+ attendees. Besides great prizes to be won, top toy and game industry representatives will be on hand to provide advice, recognition and encouragement to all young inventors to dream big and discover the possibilities of play! You can find more information at



Oceanography begins with the study of the seven principles of Ocean Literacy from the National Marine Educator’s Association. (  
The seven principles and fundamental concepts are the following:

  1. The Earth has one big ocean with many features.
  2. The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of Earth.
  3. The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.
  4. The ocean makes the Earth habitable.
  5. The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.
  6. The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.
  7. The ocean is largely unexplored.


Students will understand what makes the ocean unique and study the geography of the ocean floor, regions of the ocean, currents, waves, tides, ocean habitats, and research vessels.  While examining ocean life, students will compare cold-blooded animals (fish) to warm-blooded animals (whales), study ecosystems with food chains and food webs, and learn about the vast diversity of marine mammals. Hands-on experiments in the science lab will demonstrate how ocean water contains carbon dioxide, students will distinguish salt water from fresh water through experiments with evaporation, and students will investigate how scientists measure the depths of the ocean.

Oceanography is an interdisciplinary unit with critical reading, writing, thinking, and problem-solving skills.  Expository essays, incorporating the 6 Traits of Writing, will be written and shared by the students.   Students will become familiar with scientific methods and the nature of scientific research.  Specific skills that will be addressed include recording, analyzing, and interpreting data, drawing conclusions, identifying cause and effect relationships, summarizing, comparing, and classifying.

Crime Scene Detective


A variety of crimes, including robberies, arson, counterfeiting, computer fraud, and murder are committed each day. Advances in science have allowed scientists to gather and analyze even the minutest traces of evidence. This is called forensic science and will be the subject of this unit.

This unit is divided into three main parts:


Part 1 - students learn general information about criminal investigations. Topics include police procedures at a crime scene, evidence collection, the Locard Principle, the scientific method, and forensic science careers.

Part 2 - students participate in lab experiments and research activities to learn about various types of evidence typically found at crime scenes.

Part 3 - students apply the information they have learned by participating in a schoolwide crime scene investigation. The simulation involves a theft in the school library media center.

In the end, students will write a final report describing who is being charged with the crime and justifying the decision with specific facts from the investigation.

Description from Karen K. Schulz, Crime Scene Detective: Theft