This week we began a new project based learning experience titled “Living Things: What do they need to be Happy and Healthy to Grow?” Through this initiative children will have the opportunity to observe animals in different habitats and will be encouraged to reflect upon the different environments and how they affect the health and the well-being of the animals.
The Life Science Standards we will be focusing throughout our project include:
– Shows a growing ability to classify living and nonliving things
– Communicates about the characteristics of living things
– Demonstrates understanding that living things grow, change, and reproduce
– Shows awareness of life in different environments or habitats
– Groups or categorizes living things, e.g., appearance, behavior, plant, or animal
– Demonstrates awareness that living things go through a growth cycle
We began our project by observing our class pets behaviors (fish and silk worms), noticing what they need to grow and be alive. The children take turns feeding them and taking care of them. We also spend time looking at photos of a variety of living and non-living things and asking the children how they could tell if something was alive or not. We came up with a list of how to tell if something is alive:
– living things grow and change
– living things breathe
– living things reproduce
– living things need food and water to live
– living things move
On Monday we took a walking field trip to the Love Pet Shop at the mall. The children were able to observe dogs, cats, hamsters, mice and Chinchillas and for each one we asked ourselves: is it alive? How do we know?. While we explored we also engaged students in conversations about how the animals might be feeling, what they saw to make them think this, and how they might improve the animals well being by adding to their environment. The children used their drawings to express what they liked the most from our field trip.
Throughout the week we continued to look at a variety of different habitats and how the habitat provides for each animal (food, water, air, etc.). We also looked at the children’s baby pictures, their homes and favorite environments. Through all these photos we observed how we, as living things, grow, change and also need shelter.
We look forward to sharing more about our project with you over the next several weeks.
As part of this project we would like to invite you to get involved both from home and in the classroom.
Ideas for classroom involvement:
– Leading a science experiment or exploration activity
– Reading a story about animals, habitats etc.
– Sharing an interest or hobby that relates animals
– Your ideas???
Ideas for Involvement from home:
– Take a look at the Peek of the Week page on this blog and use the information provided as a talking point when asking your child about his or her day
– Use your child’s interest and questions to begin your own investigations at home
Please let us know if you would like to be involved in our project in any way!