The fourth graders are learning to understand the effects of environmental changes on animals and how they have had to adapt in order to survive. Animal adaptations are necessary for them to live in some of the most harsh climates, and to protect themselves from predators.
    In the media center each class will create small murals highlighting the adaptations of animals in their assigned habitat. Did you know that a polar bear and a brown bear are close to genetically the same? The polar bear has adapted over hundreds of years to live in the coldest place on the planet. So what are their adaptations? How about webbed toes to enable them to swim long distances; rough non-skid pads on their feet that resembles tire treads; hollow hairs that act as insulation against the cold; and black skin under all that white that holds in heat! 
    Watch for their murals in the hallway upstairs!
    The North Carolina County Float Parade!
    All of the fourth grades students worked very hard to research the individual counties in our beautiful state. The counties were assigned by their classroom teachers. The first phase of the project was to write a formal letter to the Chamber of Commerce in their respective counties. We found that most of the students had never sent a letter through the United Postal Service and it was a great learning opportunity for them.

    Each student explained in their letter that they were planning to design a shoebox float for their county and asked if they could please send them any interesting facts, places to visit, or what makes their county special. Many students received packets of information from their county and this information was used to design their float for the parade.

    The second phase was the research component in media class. We found out some pretty interesting things about even the smallest counties in our state. Many of the students were surprised to see so many Native Americasn listed as being the Early Inhabitants of their county.

    The deadline for the floats was November 12th. Floats were arranged on tables in the foyer by class and were judged by members of our staff. First, Second, Third, Honorable Mention, and Artistic Design ribbons were awarded! The judges had a very hard time choosing winners, but based their choices on the following criteria.
    • Did the student display knowledge of their county?
    • Is the name of their county clearly visible?
    • Did they use facts about their county as part of the display?
    • This was designed as a family project, but is student work visible?
    • Watch for creativity, neatness and resourcefulness, remembering that some students may not recieve much help at home.
    • Is the float a good advertisement for their county? Would you want to visit?
    The floats were fabulous! Be sure to check out the slide show!