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Year 4 Kick-Start Their Learning This Term

20 January 2015

Carys Locke and Asia Carra from Year 4 have written about the launch of their new themed learning topic ‘Active Planet’. Here they tell us about they did to launch this topic.

  • Year 4 students at BISS Puxi learn about volcanoes and earthquakes
  • Year 4 students at BISS Puxi learn about volcanoes and earthquakes
  • Year 4 students at BISS Puxi learn about volcanoes and earthquakes

Have a look at the pictures of us making our buildings and volcanoes

In the last two weeks, we have started to learn about our new unit: Active Planet.  It is an outstanding topic, so far we have learned about volcanoes and earthquakes.


To launch our topic we had to make a building that would stay standing in an earthquake. However, we were only allowed to use spaghetti, marshmallows, paper and paper cups! We had to make sure that it was at least 20cm tall and its base had to fit on an A5 piece of paper. Once we had built our buildings we placed all the buildings on a table tennis table and Mr Jones and Mr Broadbent shook the table to imitate an earthquake.

First they shook it for ten seconds like a primary wave and only one building fell down. Then they shook it for another ten seconds like a secondary wave and a few more buildings fell down. Finally they made a huge earthquake which would have showed about 8 on the richter scale! By the end only about eight buildings has survived.


Our challenge was to see which Year 4 child could make the best volcanic eruption! Before we did anything we realised that best is not the best word in science, so we made up a new question: which volcanic eruption covers the most surface area?

We mixed some different ratios of vinegar and baking soda to see which eruption worked well. We found out that the perfect ratio was 200ml of vinegar and two lids of baking soda. Then on Friday we made our volcanoes explode and made a Big bang!! So if you happened to pass by last Friday afternoon, you may have heard it!


We have also been writing a lot of poetry about active planet. We have been focusing on various poetic skills such as: personification, repetition, onomatopoeia, rhyme and lots more!

We have really enjoyed this topic so far and can’t wait to learn more!

- Carys Locke and Asia Carra, Year 4


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The British International School Shanghai, Puxi

111 Jinguang RoadHuacao TownMinhang201107Shanghai


金光路111号华漕镇上海市 闵行区201107

Nord Anglia Education

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