Looking Back at December

December 29, 2012

We did a lot of fun stuff during the month of December  in 4th grade! I thought I’d share a quick peek with you all.

In 4th grade, our students finally get to study their home state, Colorado! We start by looking at geography in Colorado. We especially focus on the three main regions we have here: plains, mountains and plateaus.

**Hilarious Side Note** Many of the students had never heard the word “plateaus” before or seen it written. I constantly hear “pla-toos” from all over my classroom during this unit. It cracks me up and I can’t count the number of times I stop the whole class and say, “Repeat after me…’pla-TOES’!” It makes me giggle every year!

Anyway! We look at pictures:


And then we describe what we notice. They talk about what’s the same and what is different.

At the very end, we make a Salt Dough Map to show all three regions. The flat plains, the “pointy” (as many 4th graders described them) mountains and the flat, but more “desert-y” plateaus.

Each kid gets a ball of salt dough, a piece of cardboard covered in foil and a map of Colorado, and an extra map to use for putting everything in the right place.

They started by squishing their dough onto their map board to make it the right size and shape. Luckily, Colorado is pretty much a rectangle. Pretty easy.

Then, they flattened it out with their fingers and started to add the features of each region.

Once they were happy with their flat plains, pointy mountains and “pla-toos,” we let them dry overnight.

Their favorite part came next. Painting!

**Another Side Note** Painting was NOT my favorite part. Can you guess why? I’m sure you can.

We decided on colors to represent each region. They came up with green for the mountains, yellow for the plains and orange for the plateaus, based on the pictures they had already looked at. They also added a few of Colorado’s rivers on their maps…they painted those blue.

Then we got to work!

When they were done, they put their finished products on display in the library!


Where are the pictures of their adorable finished maps, you ask? Well. About that. As each little person trotted down the hall to the library, I thought to myself, take pictures! Make sure you take pictures!

But I didn’t. I kept letting them go without taking ANY pictures. So. After break, I think this post will need to be updated. To include pictures of the cuteness on display in the library!

Well, that about covers one fun thing in December! And this post has gotten little long! Maybe tomorrow I can share the fun ornaments we made and the adorable cookies my room mom baked!

Thanks for stopping by!

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