Monday, November 9, 2015

Integrating Science, Technology, and Writing Can Be Fun!

I need to start off by saying that it has been W.A.Y. T.O.O long since I have written a post.  I entered the blogging world this past summer and fell in love.  But once school do you even find the time?!?!?!  I'll figure out how to balance it all eventually......

So, I want to share a project that my third graders have been working on for the past few weeks.  First of all, my teammate, Melissa, teaches math, science, and social studies.  I teach reading and writing.  The past two weeks, we decided to co-teach while teaching the students animal adaptations and informative/explanatory writing.  Before I get into the details, here is what our finished project looks like!
Hallway Display....just in time for Parent-Teacher Conferences

Giant pangolin hair, beaver teeth, and eastern gray kangaroo feet.

Reindeer hair, beaver teeth, mountain goat feet
Super cute....right?!?!

Here's what we did......

First, my teammate, Melissa, spent several science classes teaching the students about animal adaptations.  By the end of her teaching, the students understood that animals have life cycles that are part of their adaptations for survival in their natural environments.  During my writing classes, I was teaching the students about informative writing, how to take notes, and the editing process. Once the students were ready Melissa and I combined classes and began the project.  We started with the objectives.
Next, Melissa and I read "What If You Had Animal Teeth!?, What If You Had Animal Hair!?, and What If You Had Animal Feet!? by Sandra Markle.  We spent a class period on each book.  Have you ever read these books?  So fun!  And the author is coming out with a new book in January called What If You Had Animal Ears!?

Next, we told the students about the writing assignment/project.  The students were to pick animal teeth, hair, and feet from the three books that were read aloud.  Using their chromebooks and certain resources online, the students took notes about the specific body parts that they chose.  Their notes had to include how each body part will help him or her survive in an environment.  It took a few days for the students to conduct their research, but it was amazing how well they did with finding their information!  

After conferencing with individual students to check their research, the students were given a graphic organizer to help organize their thoughts.  They had to write how the specific body part will help them adapt and survive in an environment.   It took several days to conference with students, complete rough drafts, peer-edit, and write final copies.......(very exhausting....) After all the hard work, the students were ready to put it all together.  We took pictures of each student and printed them out on 8 1/2 by 11 paper.  Prior to starting the project, I had Mr. Smith draw a template for all the teeth, hair, and feet.  Thank goodness for Mr. Smith and his artistic abilities!  Here is one last one to share....

Zebra hair, elephant tusks, and green basilisk lizard
This is a project that Melissa and I will complete next year with our third graders....and we will definitely be using the fourth book that comes out in January ("What If You Had Animal Ears!?).  Stop by next year and check out what my upcoming students come up with! 

Tell me about a project where you have integrated several subjects...

1 comment:

  1. I love how engaging this project was. It integrated so much opportunity for learning!!! Can I be in your class ? :)