Star Academy
Star Academy News
July 15, 2014

A Summer of Green Project-Based Learning at Star Academy

Star Academy's second PBL (Project Based Learning) month of the year is well under way. After studying “Water” through the month of March we have extended our learning to take a broader look at being “Green”. Each class has taken their own perspective on this theme, so be sure to check out their class blogs below.

Lori from ArtsJam, has added her creative flair designing props and scenery for the Primary – JI skit for the Showcase (July 31st), creating a 3D rain forest floor and designing “Green” banners. An interesting breakdown of our lunch waste is also taking place – stay tuned for our discoveries! Be sure to check out our social media sites for vines, blogs and images depicting how your kids love to learn!


This week, our focus has been on trees and our school environment. Students spent a lot of time outdoors exploring nature, particularly the forest, in which they searched for healthy and unhealthy trees. Ask your child what he/she discovered out there! They adopted three tall trees, named them, and enjoyed writing in their Nature Journals in their shade. After finding a messy classroom, students helped sort the garbage into recycling, compost, and trash, and paid closer attention to the packaging of their own lunch items. 


“Have no fear, the Junior room Recycling squad is here!” The Junior class will be focusing on topics that relate to ‘Going Green’ and keeping our environment clean. This week, the Juniors focused on the 3 R’s; Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  After exploring a book called New Again, students reused several everyday items in fun ways. They enjoyed turning old socks into puppets, and used old buckets and wooden spoons to create an interesting percussion performance.  Students became aware of the importance of protecting the environment, and played a game that involved sorting items into the garbage, recycling and green bins.  They also learned about landfills, and were surprised to hear that rainwater mixing with waste creates leachate.  


This month Junior-Intermediate students will be taking an in-depth look at the diversity of the Amazon Rainforest and it’s impact on the rest of our world.  So far, they have learned about the four layers of the rainforest, which include the forest floor, the understory, the canopy and the emergent layer.  They have also explored the various species of plants and animals living in the rainforest and the interdependence which exists between them.  The students understand the significance of these types of ecosystems, in terms of the oxygen they provide, thus being referred to as “The Lungs of the World”.  They were able to participate in activities which demonstrated this understanding and investigated the complicated process of respiration in human beings.  Furthermore, they used Venn diagrams to compare their lives to Romel, a young boy living in Brazil who spends much of his free time in the jungle with his father.          


Kidnapped! The Intermediate students have been nabbed by aliens and placed in an intergalactic zoo. In the coming weeks, they will need to consider all the environmental elements needed to keep humans safe, healthy, and comfortable. This week students created “species profiles” about themselves (complete with intergalactic writing). We explored how living things are classified using taxonomic ranking. Students also studied animal locomotion and then designed alien creatures and explained the functions of their features. After hearing the opening of the sci-fi novel Space Trap by Monica Hughes, students also designed and built their own model mazes to catch the creatures they created. Finally, students researched arguments for and against zoos. The facts they found will become a board for a giant Snakes & Ladders game. 


Design and Invention has been the study of the week for the Senior Class. We have joined up with the Google Maker Camp to bring inspirational inventions and famous scientists (including Buzz Aldrin!!) into the classroom via Live Google Hangouts followed by building and testing some really neat devices ourselves. Concurrently, Seniors have also let their creativity run free and are designing their own inventions to solve some everyday problems. Science Fiction is our genre of the month for reading and writing, and we are exploring figurative language to describe newly invented ideas and contraptions. Read along with us at

Join Star Academy for this exciting month and 365 days of Inquiry by calling 905-891-1555 or going to 

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Contact Name:
Nicolette Fernandes

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