
Contextual Learning Portal Feels Like Home
Basics Project TitleFeels Like Home
 ThemeELA, Math, Science
 Submitted ByKathrine Watkevich
 OrganizationMount Wachusett Community College
 Brief DescriptionAutobiographical reflection, mathematical calculations, Punnett Squares exercises.
 Materials / ResourcesThe MCAS BIO, ELA and Math classes share most of their students, allowing for crosscurricular activity. The majority of the classes are an ELL population. After completing the reading selection "Narciso Rodriguez", discussion began about students‘ heritage and ‘home‘.

View/Download File: /project497_753/g8ela(1).pdf  Team membersSean Daley, Paul Parillo, Kate Watkevich
Key Questions Key QuestionsFor each unique individual, what qualifies as ‘home‘? How long would it take a person to walk from their ‘home‘ to our school? How are physical traits (phenotype) determined?
 Connections: How or why was this topic identified? Why is it meaningful?After completing the MCAS selection "Narciso Rodriguez", students began to share their own ‘blueprints‘. Our students (who are predominately ELL‘s) wanted to expand on the conversation, and so evolved into a series of ‘starter‘ writing prompts, math calculations and use of Punnett Squares to determine inherited traits.
 Family: Any opportunities to involve parent/guardians and other family members in this project?Students engaged in conversations with family members, involving them in the inquiry and information compilation, as needed.
Units / Activities  "Narciso Rodriguez"
.5 class periods
‘Starter‘ Writing Prompts
510 minutes
Letter of Introduction
1520 minutes
Completed reading selection packet. Asked students what qualities they consider that make a place ‘home‘; compiled a list.
StartersUsed at the beginning of class, throughout the quarter.
Students write a ‘letter of introduction‘, composing a rough draft, peer editing, then printing the final draft. Each student is photographed in front of our world map, pointing to the place of their ‘home‘. This image is attached to the letter of introduction, which is posted within the classroom. A much smaller image is affixed to the map, in that location. A length of yarn connects the students from their ‘homes‘ to our location on the map.
Attached:
MCAS selection
Sample ‘Starters‘
Letter of Introduction questions 
View/Download File: /project497_753/g8ela(1).pdf View/Download File: /project497_753/starter prompts.doc View/Download File: /project497_753/letter of introduction.doc  How far is that?Students found out how far the place that they consider to be ‘home‘ is from our school, then calculated how long it would take them to walk the distance by using the shortcut through the woods.
The second project involved with this activity was the drawing and construction of miniature houses. The students had to use basic shapes to plan and draw the twodimensional floor plan. After assembling the paper model, they had to cut and construct a threedimensional model made from balsa wood. Once this was completed the students then had to figure the volume of their structure using the formulas we had studied earlier in the month.Supplies:
Balsa wood
Exacto knives
Wood glue
Graph paper
Pencils
Ruler
Colored pencils/markers
Paint (Optional)  Punnett SquaresWhile studying genetics, inherited traits and Mendel‘s Laws, students used Punnett Squares to learn about genotype and phenotype. Worksheets similar to those used are attached.

Frameworks / Skills English Language Arts
CCSS.ELALiteracy.RL.910.4Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone). (English Language Arts)  English Language Arts
CCSS.ELALiteracy.W.910.3Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, wellchosen details, and wellstructured event sequences. (English Language Arts)  math
Mathematics.7.G.1.03Describe the twodimensional figures that result from slicing threedimensional figures, as in plane sections of right rectangular prisms and right rectangular pyramids. (math)  math
Mathematics.7.G.2.06Solve realworld and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two and threedimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms. (math)  math
Mathematics.8.G.2.06Explain a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem and its converse. (math)  math
Mathematics.8.G.2.07Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to determine unknown side lengths in right triangles in realworld and mathematical problems in two and three dimensions. (math)  math
Mathematics.8.G.2.08Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to find the distance between two points in a coordinate system. (math)  math
Mathematics.8.G.3.09Know the formulas for the volumes of cones, cylinders, and spheres and use them to solve realworld and mathematical problems. (math)  English Language Arts
MA.ELALiteracy.W.910.3aDemonstrate understanding of the concept of point of view by writing short narratives, poems, essays, speeches or reflections from one (English Language Arts)
Tags = careerpathways  careerpathways  Subject = ELA, Mathematics, Science  Grade Level = HS  Time Period = School Year  Program/Funding =  596/597 
Direct website link to this project: http://resources21.org/cl/contextual.asp?projectnumber=497.753
