Thursday, June 15, 2017

Exploring Your Natural Environment At the End of the School Year

This year my class is finishing off the school year with our Exploring Our Natural Environment Unit. So far the unit has been very successful! I have at least one student everyday ask me if we are going to go outside to learn today! I am very lucky that my school is really close to a forested area and it is a very short walk to the beach, so I have taken full advantage of the community's natural surroundings and all of the learning that can come from this diverse environment. 

Everyone in my class has choose their inquiry project topic and has completed their inquiry project presentation pitches and are well on their way with their research. During their project pitches students presented their project ideas to the class and got valuable feedback from their peers. 

Before choosing our inquiry project topics, we first explored our natural surroundings with an outdoor scavenger hunt! 
The outdoor scavenger hunt ended up taking my class two days to complete, and my class loved it! They had a blast! My students worked in partners, and they took turns writing down the answers to the questions on the task cards on a their shared clipboard interactive notebook templates. Which can be found in my Exploring Our Local Environment Unit. 

My students were all actively engaged and were excited to share and compare their findings from
their hunt with their classmates. After our scavenger hunt, we then went back outdoors and narrowed in on one nature item to complete our ‘A Close Up Of…” magnifying glass activity. Examples of items that my students chose for this activity include: a pine cone, a blade of grass, a slug, a ladybug, a twig, and other items from our natural envirnment. 

In addition to working on our individual inquiry projects students also completed a variety of other graphic organizers and interactive notebook
templates that can be found in my Exploring Your Natural Environment Unit. Students completed a cute foldable where they listed living things that live near their community and also  completed a food chain for our natural surroundings.  My Students have enjoyed learning about our natural surroundings, getting outdoors to learn, and also choosing their own inquiry questions and getting to research a topic that they care about! My students choose great questions such as: How does the ocean keep itself clean? Why are owls nocturnal? Why do geese migrate and where do they go? Why do wolves live in packs? My students have shown passion towards their questions, and their projects are really coming along! I couldn't have asked for a better way to wrap up the end of the school year, and all of the templates, pacing calendars, self and teacher assessment pages that you and your students will need are all included in this fabulous unit!

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