Fourth Grade Venture Activities

Picture of a homemade solar oven
  • Dear Fourth Grade Students,

    I am saddened by the fact that we will no longer be meeting face to face each week.   HOWEVER, each week I will post an activity in the space to the right for you to work on at home.  I may post a link to a video and then provide a link to an online activity or to an activity to do with materials at home.  Some weeks will involve watching a video and then taking a quiz (not for a grade!) to help you see what you have learned.  I might even post a video of me showing you how to do something that you will complete at home and then send back to me if you wish to display it for others to see. You will have to check-in each week to seek what is in store for you!

    Be health smart and I hope to see you in August, or hopefully sooner,

    Mr. Zutter

  • Week of May 11, 2020

    The featured activity in Venture this week is tangrams.  Tangrams are puzzles that came to us from China, but we don’t know exactly how old they are.  The “classic” set of tangram puzzle pieces consists of seven geometrical pieces – five triangles (two small, one medium and two large), a square and a parallelogram. The pieces are cut from one large square. Pieces are put together such that they make some sort of shape, object, animal, number, letter or something else.  The challenge involves looking at an outline of the created object and then putting all seven of the tangram pieces together to create the object.  Sometimes the outline of the object may be provided in a large enough form so that the pieces may be placed inside the outline, while in other situations the outline is much smaller than the pieces and the object is created outside of the outline.

    There are a couple of options for you this week as you work with tangrams.  You can print out the handout below, cut out tangrams from the handout, and work on the puzzles included in the handout.  A second option is to click on one of the links below and complete online tangram puzzles. The online tangrams are of different types and will give you different levels of challenges.  Enjoy!!!

    Links to:

    Tangrams Handout

    Online Tangram Challenges

    Developing Geometry Understanding with Tangrams – 7 and 14 piece tangrams 

    abcya – Play level 3 (hardest level- no guidelines)

    Free Games – This site has you complete the inside of squares with different kinds of tangram pieces – uses different shapes than the standard game – compete against the clock



    Week of May 4, 2020

    What was Ogletree like in 2010?  In 2010, OES students also completed census surveys like you did this year.  This week you will compare your findings about household size and ages of people in households with what was found in 2010.  I have combined data from all classes in a grade level to create line plots and summaries for each grade level for both 2010 and 2020.  I have also included in this week's video some line plots of census data collected from a "mystery group" at Ogletree.  See if you can figure out the "mystery group" by looking at the line plots and statistics of household size and ages of people in households. 

    There is no handout to print or record answers on this week.  The only thing you need to do is to watch the video, pause the video as you need to think about questions, and then resume the video.  I hope you enjoy learning about the families at our school from two different decades.  

    Links to:

    Video - OES Households in 2010 and 2020



    Week of April 27, 2020

     This week you are going to continue to examine your line plots to develop a better understanding about student households in your class.   Please do the following:

    1. Download and print  "Looking at Our 2020 Class Census Data - Part 2" handout (You can use a piece of notebook paper if you can't print it out.  HOWEVER, you will need to copy the questions from the handout)
    2. Get the two line plots you made, "Household Size" and "Ages in Household".  If for some reason you do not have your line plots, you can download and print the line plots I created from the data. Links to the line plots are listed below under last week's assignment.
    3. Click on the link to the video, Looking at Class Census Data - Part 2.  Watch the video and complete portions of the handout as you are prompted to do so.

    Links to:

    Video - Looking at Our 2020 Census Data - Part 2



    Week of April 20, 2020

    Last week you created line plots of "Household Size" and "Ages of People in Households" using your class census data.  This week you are  going to begin to examine the line plots to develop a better understanding about student households in your class.   Please do the following:

    1. Download and print  "Looking at Our 2020 Class Census Data" Question Sheet (You can use a piece of notebook paper if you can't print it out.  You will need to copy the questions from the video)
    2. Get the two line plots you made from last week, "Household Size" and "Ages in Household". Check your line plots with the line plots I made from your class data.  Links to the line plots are listed below. If for some reason you do not have your line plots, you can download and print the line plots.  (NOTE: Your line plots might be a little different from mine if you created your line plots from the census data that was listed on the web site prior to Wednesday of last week).
    3. Click on the link to the video, Looking at Class Census Data - Part 1.  Watch the video and complete the questions on the handout.
    4. KEEP YOUR LINE PLOTS FOR NEXT WEEK as you will use them again.

    Links to:

    Video - Looking at Our 2020 Class Census Data - Part 1



    Week of April 13, 2020

    OK, census data has been gathered from students in your class.   Now what?  What can you learn about your class from the data? To help you do just that I would like you to do the following for this week’s activity:

    1. Download and print

    • “Household Size” Line Plot Sheet
    • “Ages in Household” Line Plot Sheet
    • Census Data for your Class

    If you are unable to print the line plot sheets you can make your own using notebook paper and a ruler (see video). You will have to view the census data on your computer screen or tablet screen while making the line plots.

    2. Click on the link to the video, How Do I Summarize Class Census Data?, to learn how you will summarize the data that has been gathered for your class. (NOTE: The last part of the video will show you how to make line plot sheets if you are not able to print the ones already prepared for you).

    3. Create line plots for “Number of People in a Household” and “Ages of People in a Household” as described in the video using data from your class.  Go back and view the video again or parts of the video as needed to help you do the line plots correctly.   KEEP THE LINE PLOTS FOR NEXT WEEK.  You will use the line plots next week as a tool to learn about your class from the data.

     Links to:

    Video - How Do I Summarize Class Census Data?

    Week of April 6, 2020

    You have probably seen promotions on television for the United States 2020 Census. Exactly what is a census? Why is a census done? When did people start doing censuses?  Why do we have one in the United States?   The census must be important if there are advertisements for it on TV.  Your family should have received information on how to complete the US Census online or how to request a paper form of the census to send back in. 

    In order to have a better understanding of the United States 2020 Census and why it is important for you, your family, me and everyone in the United States to complete the census I would like you to do the following for this week's activity:

    1. Watch the BrainPop video, "Census". To get to the video, click on the link below.  To login to BrainPop you simply need to enter "ogletree123" for username and "allstars123" for Clark&Phillips Census Datapassword.
    2. After watching the video, take the quiz by clicking on "Take the Quiz" or click on the "Quiz" button to the right.  Choose "Review Quiz".  At the end of the quiz you can review your results.  If you don't like how well you did, watch the video again and retake the quiz or simply retake the quiz. 
    3. PLEASE send me your quiz results by clicking on the "Email your results" button under "View your results" and then complete the three blanks in the pop up screen.  Enter your first name only, my email address:, and your homeroom teacher's last name on the pop up screen.  The quiz is NOT for a grade.  I just want to see how well you did.  If you have a printer at home you wish you can print out your results.
    4. If you have more time you may wish to click on "Related Reading" to learn more about topics related to the United States census.

    Link to BrainPop Video "Census"

    REMINDER – OGLETREE CLASSROOM CENSUS SURVEY:  If you have NOT yet completed the Ogletree Classroom Census Survey, with help of your parents, please complete the survey.  Your classroom teacher should have forwarded a note from me with the link to the survey.   If you have NOT completed the survey and need the link to the survey, it is listed below.  We will use the results of the survey over the next few weeks.  We did this 10 years ago in 2010.


    If you have additional time and need something to do, you can continue to work on last week's activity if you did not finish it.


    Week of March 30, 2020

    Unfortunately with the closure of school, we are not going to be able to plan and build shoe box solar ovens at school.  HOWEVER, I found some simple solar cooker plans and have included links to the plans below.  The simplest plans are for panel cookers and will require placing your cooking vessel inside of a plastic bag to hold in the heat.  Oven cooking bags work well.  You may need to cut them to make them smaller.  First, click on the link below to better understand how solar cooking works.

    How Solar Cooking Works

    Plans for simple reflective solar cookers

    Simple Box Panel Solar Cooker

    Materials needed:

    • box (a larger cardboard box would be best – perhaps the size of a paper box)
    • aluminum foil
    • white glue or tape
    • scissors
    • coat hanger wire (for prop stick)

    Reflective Open Box Panel Cooker

    Materials needed:

    • 2-  large moving boxes (Lowes has 24” x 18” x 18” - $1.78 each)
    • aluminum foil
    • heavy duty scissors (or utility knife with parent assistance!!!)
    • white glue
    • packing tape or some other wide strong tape

    Simple Cone Cooker

    Materials needed:

    • large piece of poster board
    • aluminum foil
    • white glue
    • tape
    • brass brads or strong stapler
    • large box

    Homemade Cooking Vessel

    You can make a homemade cooking vessel that will fit in the cooking chamber from a small jar such as an 8 oz. jelly jar or canning jar (A 16 oz. jar might fit if the oven is sufficiently tall).  Ideally, you would like the OUTSIDE of both the lid and the jar to be black.  You can spray paint or cover the jar with black paper of some sort.   You might like to place a piece of tape on the jar before painting to leave a “window”.

    Cooking Jar Picture


    Solar Oven Oatmeal or Grits

    1. Measure out ½ cup of water into the cooking vessel.
    2. Add a package of instant oatmeal or instant grits and stir. (Note: we did not try cooking 1-minute oatmeal or quick grits)
    3. Place lid on cooking vessel.
    4. Put cooking vessel inside the oven bag and then inside the oven.
    5. Face the oven toward the sun.  Angle the oven and the reflective flaps as needed to optimize the amount of light onto the cooking vessel.
    6. Check the progress of your oatmeal or grits after about an hour and cook longer, if needed.