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UE (Mr. D): Stories and Bangs

This week we started our story writing and explored the origins of our Universe!

We started things off on Monday by introducing our "weekly" stories. First, we explored the question, "why do we tell stories?" Everyone thought for a bit, and then we shared. We came up with three main reasons or categories: to entertain, inspire, and educate. Of course, entertainment is the main category we need to hit!

So, what's entertaining to you?

Again, everyone thought, and then we shared. We saw clearly how some things entertain us all, and some things only entertain some of us. The point is that when we write, we must write what we think is fun. We can't worry about if everyone will love it. We need to write for ourselves.

Ok, now everyone is ready to write, but hold on!

I shared two different ways of planning and plotting out stories. Using a method I use myself, we created a story outline together in a few minutes. Then, I shared a writing method that can work for plotting and writing scenes. It's "yes, but" and "no, and." Does your character succeed at their current goal? Yes, but... Or, no, and... something else happens.

Finally, everyone was off to write with more excitement than I could have expected!

For Science, we continued our exploration of life by looking into the origins of the Universe. Most have heard of the Big Bang already, but I thought it more important to tell the story of how such a wild theory came about than just to know the theory.

So, we began in 1925 with Edwin Hubble's discovery of Galaxies. Then, we learned about Georges Lemaitre and laughed at my lack of ability to pronounce his name! I shared how his theory of an expanding Universe, and a Universe beginning at a single point, was laughed at; how even Einstein rejected it.

Again, Edwin Hubble comes back into the story to vindicate Lemaitre by proving that the Universe is indeed expanding. Using a balloon, we were able to visualize how an expanding Universe can lead to the theory of the Big Bang. By reversing time, letting air out of the balloon, we watch the Universe shrink to a point.

Thursday, we used a great interactive website to do some more digging. I gave our group a series of questions about the Universe from the Big Bang to exoplanets, and they were off to find the answers. It wasn't an easy task—I even put in a few extra challenging questions—but I'm really proud of how hard this amazing group worked to uncover the answers.

On Friday, we used our afternoon time to learn more about our awesome UE class. Ms. Shannon and I came up with a few goal-setting questions for our group to answer. These will be great to revisit throughout the year and at conferences. Also, we introduced typing lessons!

Another great week in the books!

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