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Here are just a few of the many projects we completed in GATE and enrichment classes!

The entire GATE group began the year by authoring personal magazines, à la Oprah. Students wrote articles on topics ranging from favorite foods to great vacations to how to get free golf balls!

Kindergarten Enrichment learned about ancient Egypt. For their project, the students wove and painted their own original paper bag "papyri" in traditional colors, complete with Egyptian symbols and cartouches.
First grade GATE has enjoyed a busy year. Inspired by Carnival of the Animals and the works of Alexander Calder, one student created a sculpture of an aquarium.

GATE 1’s final unit explored the members of the Periodic Table of the Elements by learning the structure of atoms and matter. They made atomic models and transformed their elements into heroes with super powers that mirror elemental properties.

Grade 1 also explored the Frick Museum and attended "HONK, Jr." at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.

In grade 2, GATE students also explored animal physiology by assembling rodent skeletons contained in real owl pellets. As a follow-up, they researched favorite species of owls.
For the second half of the year, this group traveled back in time to America’s colonial past. After learning about the apprentice system and jobs in a colonial town, students developed games that brought many trades together to produce a colonial wedding, complete with clothiers, builders, food providers, carriage works, and of course, clergy.
Click on the pictures below to enlarge.
A visit to the Frick Museum's Carriage House really brought the past to life!

To complement their study of the past, these students also zoomed into the future at the Carnegie Science Center.

In the math enrichment unit, 2nd graders learned to solve and compose word problems. See if you can solve this one:

Bob the bear was going hunting with his family when he saw a human. The human was holding a fish so Bob scared the human and he dropped his fish. When it fell, the fish was cut into five pieces. How many times was it cut?

To find the answer, ask a 2nd grader!

Third grade GATE began the year with a trip inside the circulatory system. Students learned about blood, blood vessels, and the heart to understand why it is so vitally important to circulate blood in order to survive.
Third grade also investigated the inner workings of atoms and matter. Next year, they will transform a chemical element into a superhero, and write a full-length action story.
In enrichment, the group explored life on the prairie 100 years ago through the Newbery-winning novel, Sarah, Plain and Tall.  
Students in grades 3 and 4 also visited two unique Pittsburgh treasures. At WQED studios, producer Rick Sebak speaks with 3rd graders (below left). Fourth graders examine a scale model of Ft. Pitt at the Blockhouse Museum (right).

 GATE students in grade 4 each chose a world culture or historical era to explore. As they gained expertise, they produced a variety of projects to help share their knowledge with others. Here are just a few of their creations.

Click on the images below to enlarge.


In enrichment, fourth graders explored the relationship between mathematics, art, and world history.
Fifth graders studied classic drama from ancient Greece, Rome, and Elizabethan England to learn the roots of comedy and tragedy. They began the year at Bricolage Production Co. to learn about radio as a storytelling medium. To see the article that includes Bricolage, click here!
Fifth graders wrote poetry to examine the relationship between word meanings and sounds.
In addition, the students improvised scenes using resources from Pittsburgh Opera's Improv Trunk.

Next year, it will be time to add to the repertory—The students will write, perform, and produce their own original radio comedies and tragedies. In addition, they will learn how radios work and build working AM/FM radios.


It’s been a big year in sixth grade. Students chose a world culture or historical era to explore. They designed their own courses of study and chose their own methods for sharing what they learned. This initiative-building approach will help these students as they prepare to take the next steps in their paths as lifelong learners.  Just click the images below to enlarge.
Sixth graders also read an adaptation of Ramayana as a vehicle to understand ancient Indian culture.
To celebrate Indian culture, students and their families shared a special dinner at the spectacular Taj Mahal Restaurant. 
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North Hills School District
135 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
Phone: 412-318-1000 Fax: 412-318-1084
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