Junior High 1

Junior High 1 Projects


This unit focuses on farming issues from around the world while we learn about the various traits of different groups of mammals. We start out by looking at four different farming regions in America. We learn important things like irrigation, fertilization and crop rotation. We then learn about farming in the tropics and how people from these regions deal with issues such as erosion and deforestation. Of course we also learn about farming in Austria while we compare modern farming techniques with techniques from the country’s past. We make a trip to the Volkskundemuseum to learn about farming. While studying mammals, we learn how to classify them by the ways that they give birth. We also classify them by their type of feet. We also analyze how cows digest the food that they eat. Other animals studied are pigs, cats, dogs, bears, rabbits, rodents, and deer.

Political Awareness

In this unit we learn a lot about what it is like to live in different political situations. We learn about types of governments and how they are run. Specifically, the kids learn about what it is like to be a young girl in the Middle East and about children’s rights all around the world. We have guest speakers that come in to talk about rights and organizations which help children. During these lessons, we also gain a lot of map skills and design our own maps with a scale, key and coordinates. We even learned how to give complex directions in English. We learn how to use relief lines to decipher the altitude of the land on a map.

Environmental Awareness

During this unit, we learn about natural resources and how their use impacts the environment. We learn about recycling, reducing and reusing. The kids also learn a lot about how air pollution can lead to global warming. While we learn about the environment, we also learn about birds. Birds are very specially adapted creatures, so scientists use their health as a marker of how an environment has changed over time. We focus on the specialization of bird beaks and talons, and how that relates to their environment and their food sources. We do some experiments with mock beaks to note exactly how they work and how birds rely on their specialization. While learning about birds, we also learn about their life-cycle, their habitat and diet.

Climate Zones

This unit piggybacks on a lot of themes which were brought up in the farming unit and environment unit and expands upon them. We focus mainly on life in the rainforest and life in the desert while learning about reptiles from both zones. During this unit, we expand on our discussion of slash-and-burn farming and how it impacts our air quality and the greenhouse effect. We learn about the importance of the canopy layer in the rainforest and how there are many species of creatures there which humans have never even seen. While learning about reptiles, we study their life-cycle, the places where they live and their diet. We also learn a lot about the types of people who live in the rainforests and deserts of the world. We learn about their customs, religions and rites of passage.

Natural Disasters

While studying this theme, we focus on the constant shifting of the Earth’s crust. We look at historic maps of the Earth and learned how the continents have drifted apart over time. We learn how the crust is broken up into tectonic plates and how the collisions and movements at these boarders create volatile fault lines with earth quakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. We learn how geologists study earth quakes with seismographs and how they use the Richter scale to measure an earthquake’s intensity. We also learn about how the heat from beneath the crust creates the warm waters which are so nice to swim in at a thermal bath. Finally, we create 3D models of these disasters and record videos of ourselves reporting on the science behind how they work.

The Human Body

We learn loads and loads about the various organ systems in our body. We learn a lot about the circulatory system and how it pumps blood around our body. We focus also on the various blood cells and how they work. We also learn quite a bit about how signals are sent around our body through the nervous system. The kids learn how chemicals and electric signals control most all of what we do. We also learn a lot about the digestive system, skeletal system and muscle system while we talked about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. While learning about the digestive system, we study all of the organs and learn how they function. During the skeletal system lessons, the kids learn about bones and how they connect at various types of joints. They learn about bone marrow and the creation of new cells. During our muscle lessons, we learn about muscle fibers, how they connect to tendons and how those tendons connect to the bones to help us move. We also learn about soft tissue muscles and cardiac muscles.