Fourth grade students recently conducted research projects on the world’s most unusual animals. They created lap books and shared their findings with their classmates. They have now taken this project a step further as they are combining each of their unique animals into “new” creatures. Groups of three students are working on designing their “new” animals by combining their special characteristics, designing a new habitat and explaining how their new animal will survive.
Second grade celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd. As part of the two week project based learning unit, the students were taught the importance of protecting and caring for our environment, both locally and globally. In Reading, the children read about recycling, comparing how paper and glass is made, and they had a chance to take a “trip” with a plastic bottle to see how it’s made and how it was repurposed and recycled. In Writing, the students completed a research paper in which they wrote about our earth and how and why we should protect it. In Science, the children learned about the resources the earth provides us and how these resources are used and how they should be conserved. In Social Studies, students learned how environmental issues affect not only our local community, but has far reaching global impacts. To end the Earth Day unit, students were presented with a challenge. They had to use math and engineering skills to design and repurpose trash into something new. The students had to take the projects in steps by planning, deciding on materials, sketching out designs, building their ideas and sharing their end product with other students.
Throughout the Earth Day studies, students picked up trash, discussed ways to reuse supplies, wear hand-me-downs, consume less, and finished off with creating reusable grocery bags out of old t-shirts. Students loved making the bags and wanted to use every little bit of waste fabric to create costumes.
[PBL stands for Project Based Learning. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.]
Recently, students in eighth grade were challenged with designing an educational display to teach fourth graders why it is important to conserve. Students researched conservation issues and tips, then created models to help them teach.
The class finished the project by rotating fourth graders through each learning station. The younger students loved it and want to do it again!
Eighth graders made impressive and creative models, ranging from Lego stations illustrating conservation techniques to a 3-D paper house and origami tree. Other teachers and community members were invited to tour stations. It was neat seeing the 8th graders really take ownership of their knowledge as they felt responsible to help the fourth graders understand ways they could help the environment.