All posts by LLevin

Grade 5 Allegorical Fiction

It’s a good problem to have when a teacher has an overwhelming amount of amazing student work to share.

Here are the collected stories of the Navigate fifth graders. Download, print if you want, share with all far and wide. Read your child’s story. Read every child’s story. There is some amazing writing in here.

I did add my two cents to the foreword. I hope you’ll read my tribute to the kids and the incredible work they have done.


Figuratively Speaking-Allegorical and Dystopian Short Fiction

Grade 4 Poetry Collections

For someone who makes a living out of words, I have to confess that I don’t have adequate words to express how proud I am of the fourth grade students for their poetry collections. Over the course of several weeks, they experimented with various types of poetry, always trying to use language and line breaks to make powerful writing even more powerful.

Students crafted dozens of poems, then worked to curate a collection based on the strength of their pieces and the overall tone they wished to set. Once they had a sizable body of work, they read their own poems, and shared them with both me and trusted readers in the class to gain a more objective eye.

Click on the collections to read their poetry. Read, print, share, enjoy. And, if you’re so inclined, leave a comment for our poets below. Happy reading!

The River Flows Gently Like a Feather Falling to the Ground by Jaymin C.
Flowers by Mia H.
Daydream by Brooke C.
Poems Are Random By Leah C.
Life turns to death by Nicole R.
Nature Poems & Others by Connor T.
The Poe-tree by Alex K.
Peaceful Poetry by- Julia K.
Poetry that Warms Your Heart by Chloe Z.
The Moon and All by Atchaya
Emily M’s Collected Works
The Book of Collected Poetry by Aaron L.
A Poem Collection by Joslyn A.
Collection Of Poetry By Emily L.
Dylan’s Poetry Collection
Super enormous book filled with poems by Harper K

Watsons Story Arc Photo Essay

Students in the Grade 5 Navigate read The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. It was a powerful read! We wanted to capture the spirit of the story in a deeper way, so we created these photo essays. How did we do it?

  • We each developed a set of plot points to summarize the novel
  • We came up with a singular word – an idea, theme or emotion – to summarize each plot point
  • We took our own photographs to symbolize each concept.

Below are the projects from the students. Enjoy!

Rohan’s Photo Essay
Ellie’s Photo Essay
Yoonsol’s Photo Essay
Caroline’s Photo Essay
Ben’s Photo Essay
Anna S.’s photo essay
 Eashna’s Photo essay
Abby’s Photo Essay
Abby’s Watsons story arc
Kyle’s Photo Essay
Darshan’s Photo Essay
Rishi’s Photo Essay
Sammy’s Photo Essay
Matthew’s Photo Essay
Tyler’s Photo Essay
Elan’s Photo Essay
Samantha’s Photo Essay
Kalen’s Photo Essay
Anna M.’s Photo Essay


Researching King Arthur

Now is the time for you to venture out on your own, and seek out research to a question of your interest!

Please use the links from our school libraries FIRST as you gather information. The encyclopedias and other online information sources are guaranteed to be accurate, reliable sources for you. If you’ve gone through all those sources and still need more, that’s when you can hit up Google.

Willowbrook library page
Wescott library page

Out of the Dust Independent Study

As we read, there are many different options to study subjects and people that will deepen your understanding of Out of the DustUse the table below to guide your study. Entries marked in bold are required.

Learn more about Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s life here. Read more about what led up to the Great Depression in the United States by reading here. Learn about what drought does to an area. Find out what’s happening in the California drought. Be sure to read the captions on the photos. You can also see a graphic representation of the drought here.
Many photographers were hired and assigned to document life during the Great Depression. See some of Dorothea Lange’s work by clicking here. You can also find more of her work (and others) by clicking here. The story of Dionne Quintuplets is sweet and sad at the same time. Read their story here, and watch a film that was made about them here. The hobo life was an interesting one. Complete a worksheet with an activity related to hobo culture. (Ask Mrs. Levin)hobo-glyphs-code
Hear and read stories of people who lived during the Great Depression, and how they got by during hard times. Click this link to view and share sites that help you in your research! Find out more about Shirley Temple here. Watch a video of one of her most famous movie scenes here.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt worked incredibly hard to build back the confidence of the American people during the great depression. He accomplished this feat by communicating regularly and plainly with the citizens, passing laws and executive orders, and creating organizations to support building the economy. Choose at least one of these options below to learn more about.
The Tennessee Valley Authority put people to work by building power plants and other important things in the rural south. Read about the history, and watch a video about the TVA. The Civilian Conservation Corps, or the CCC, gave thousands of people – especially young men with no other opportunities – work through various projects throughout the country. While the CCC aimed for projects out in nature, the Works Progress Administration employed people by giving them work on an even bigger scale. Read about it here. (And check out their posters here!)
The FDIC, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, gave citizens the confidence they needed to begin putting their money back into banks. FDR stayed in regular communication with the American people through his “fireside chats.” You can read and listen here.

Wrinkle in Time Independent Projects

During our Wrinkle in Time novel study, students pursued topics of independent study related to themes and events in the book. Many students, inspired by their knowledge, completed optional projects to demonstrate their learning. All I can say is WOW.

This work is a product of passion, persistence, and just plain cleverness. If you have a comment or a compliment, please leave a comment below. Thank you!

Learn from Tyler and Rishi about how the United States and former Soviet Union competed with one another during the Cold War in what came to be known as the Space Race. View the time line here.

For a double dose of laughter and learning, watch Ellie, Ben and Anna’s Game Show: “Jeoparda Vinci:” It’s all about the life and times of Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci. (link coming soon)

For a look into the science behind the way Madeleine L’Engle explains time travel, check out Kyle and Rohan’s work on explaining the dimensions

Dig deeper into scientific discovery, and get ready for some mind-blowing ideas with Kalen and Elan’s look at black holes and wormholes.

Sammy found inspiration in connecting the concept of multidimensionality to the story of A Wrinkle in Time. You can listen to his screencast here. (link coming soon)

Yoonsol found her inspiration in learning more about Carl Sagan, the astronomer and philosopher who made the cosmos and the universe understandable to all.

Want to connect with your inner (or outer) science geek, or just get in touch with your sense of wonder? Look no further than Caroline and Fiona’s collection of Neil DeGrasse Tyson quotes.

Tommy Edison is an advocate for the blind, educator of the seeing, and all-around funny guy. Abby was inspired by his videos. See a couple of photos of her “blind art.”

Wonder if we are alone in the universe? So does NASA. Check out Rishi’s exploration of the search for extra-terrestrial life.


Wrinkle in Time Independent Study

As we read, there are many different options to study subjects and people that will deepen your understanding of Wrinkle. Use the table below to guide your study.


Are tesseracts real? Listen to astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan explain the science behind the fourth dimension. 
A Wrinkle in Time
is an allegory about a time in history called The Cold War. Learn about what the Cold War was, and how it affected world history.
Hear the famous excerpt from Carl Sagan’s book,“Pale Blue Dot.” Listen a few times to get the full feel.
Learn about physicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson and his ideas. He’s the guy who hosted the remake of the famous series, Cosmos
Complete the “Fighters of Darkness” worksheet from Mrs. Levin.
Do we need sight to understand the world around us? Listen to Tommy Edison, a man who helps seeing people understand what it’s like to be blind.
 Learn more about Madeleine L’Engle‘s life. For a deeper read, try reading her obituary in The New York Times.
Camazotz offers us a view into a dystopia. Go into your AR 360 library to learn more about what defines dystopian fiction.Once you finish with that, check out this flowchart to give you a visual guide.
 Want to know what academic analysis looks like? Read an academic paper about Camazotz and IT in Wrinkle in Time. (There are others on that site, too!)
The Cold War wasn’t just about governments and armies. Read Peter Sis’s book The Wall to learn how the Cold War affected families and people.
 What exactly is science fiction? Investigate a few sources that tell you how to define the genre. Neil DeGrasse Tyson says a whole lot of mind-blowing things, especially when kids ask him questions. Check out these eye-openers.
Choose and research a Fighter of Darkness in world history.  Hear Ray Bradbury read his poem, “If Only We had Taller Been.” Have a copy of his poem handy to read and mark up. Meg, Calvin and Charles Wallace visit Camazotz, Ixchel and Uriel. Research the mythological sources behind these place names.
Throughout the novel, Mrs. Who quotes many important works, along with many famous people and characters. Find and source some of them.  Write your own sci-fi short story or create a poem based on any of the ideas or characters we’ve encountered in Wrinkle. Do you have something  – or someone – you’d like to spend more time learning about? Something that connects to A Wrinkle in Time? Propose your idea to Mrs. Levin.