Facts in Five

Have you ever played the game Facts in Five?

facts in five

photo credit 2015 University Games Corporation


Facts in Five is a GREAT game for those who like to challenge their minds, compete with their friends, and have fun.  That’s pretty much everyone, right?  

This past month, we have learned some great facts from five different sources.  Special guests visited our class this month, both in person and via Skype, to share scientific, historical, and cinematic information with us that added to our understanding and enjoyment of novels we have read.  In addition, we began writing our own informational texts, again inspired by our novels, to broaden our knowledge base in scientific areas.

Here are five categories each with some information that helps us learn more about books that we read.



What type of rock decays underground to form a sinkhole? (Click on the photo below to find out!)

Geologist David Brown explains sinkholes to us after we read about them in the novel Tangerine.


In what state does the story Under the Blood Red Sun take place? (Click on the photo below to find out!)

Movie producer Dana Hankins and author Graham Salisbury visit via Skype to share information about creating a film from the novel Under the Blood Red Sun.

Movie producer Dana Hankins and author Graham Salisbury visit via Skype to share information about creating a film from the novel Under the Blood Red Sun.


What sport has the highest concussion rate for its participants?


Who wrote Up From Slavery?


What  type of plagiarism is common and most severe in intent?


Did you get all five facts?

See if you can stump us!  Leave a question in our comment box and check the box that indicates you would like to receive follow up comments.  Let the games begin!

Student Blogging Challenge 2015

Hey Kids!

It’s that time of year for The Student Blogging Challenge!

This is our opportunity to meet kids from all over the world!  Already there are tons of kids registered and waiting to meet other kids, like us, through their blogs.

Making friends around the world

Making friends around the world

Check out this list of students who have registered so far.

  • Who is 13-years-old, is from the Philippines, and likes Taekwondo?
  • Who is 12-years-old, is from Australia and likes netball and cricket?
  • Who is 13-years-old, is from the USA and likes pinning?
  • Who is 13-years-old, is from the USA and likes bodyboarding?
  • Who is 11-years-old, is from Taipei and likes listening to music?
  • Who is 13-years-old, is from New Zealand, and likes rugby?


How many kids are middle school aged (11-14)?

Who likes things that you like?

Where is Taipei?

What is netball?  pinning?  bodyboarding?

Jornada de entrenamiento bodyboard con los deportistas de la Academia Surf&Rock Miguel Navaza via Compfight

How will you find out these answers?  Visit these students!  It’s super easy; just click on the link to their blogs.   Start a conversation; ask them about their hobbies and tell them about yours.  Ask them about their corner of the world and tell them about yours.  Ask them about their school and tell them about yours.  Make a high-tech pen pal!

In order to start connecting, we’ll join this year’s Student Blogging Challenge.  We’ll meet new kids and improve our blogging skills simultaneously.  Cool, right?  Register for the challenge here.

With whom on the list would you like to connect?  Why?  

The game is afoot!  (Does anyone know what that is an allusion to?)

A Tangerine Webquest

Tangerine combines science and language arts as it teaches lots of science lessons while it intrigues us with its literary finesse: spellbinding writing, mysterious plot, complex characters, and important theme.   Groups of students at Tangerine Middle School worked on cross-curricular science/language arts projects about Florida agriculture.  

Gregg Maxcy, Inc's Red-Glo brand citrus label

Credit this photo: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/17333
Gregg Maxcy, Inc., Image number PR75937

Paul’s group researches the Golden Dawn tangerine.  In addition to researching the citrus industry online via his computer, Paul and his group visit the Cruz family orange grove.     Conduct research as Paul and his friends did.

  • Luis explains “grafting” to Paul and his friends.  What is another word for “grafting”?   Read “The Rise and Fall of the Citrus Industry” to find out.
  • Paul and his friends fight a citrus frost in the novel.  Using the tabs in the article, read about the devastating frosts that hit Florida groves causing severe damage to citrus crops.  What were the years of “The Great Frost”?
  • The Cruz Grove used smudge pots and ice to save the trees.  Looking through the old photographs, what are some other methods citrus farmers employed to combat the frost?
  • On various occasions, Paul laments the way things used to be in Tangerine County.  The old packing houses are empty; the groves have been demolished and left to rot underground in order to make way for housing developments.  What county produced 95% less citrus in 1990 than in 1970?  Read about the decline of the citrus industry to find out.
  • Luis plans to revive his family’s grove with the introduction of a new tangerine, The Golden Dawn.  Take a look a the folk art of citrus groves.  Which marketing labels are your favorite?    On a separate sheet of paper, design a label for the Golden Dawn tangerine.  Write a bit about why you chose this design.

In addition to the citrus industry, we learn about lignite and muck fires, solar eclipses, sink holes, lightning, termites and mosquitoes.  Tomorrow, Mr. David Brown, a native Floridian and geologist, will visit our class to share some information about our unique Florida environment.  In class, we have already watched a few videos and looked up some websites on these topics.  Think about what you have already learned.

What are some questions you might have for Mr. Brown that will expand your knowledge?