Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Rocky Shore Study
Great time for a rocky shore study.
If your school is near a rocky shore this is a great time to take your class out to undertake a small ecological study. If the seashore is too far away apply the ideas to a patch of bush or even some long grass. Ecology is everywhere! You can even study one tree in the playground or monarch butterflies and swan plants.
Before they go outdoors ask the students what they think they might find or what they currently know about the topic and what they would like to find out. It is always a good idea to tap into their prior knowledge in any area of learning; you may even find an expert or two to make use of.
Observational drawing is a valuable skill but to save the animal life get the students to draw from a photo or an illustration. If they do a drawing before hand, without reference to material, it will let you ( and them) know how little they really know!
While outdoors encourage the students to sit still ( preferably in the shade) and write how they feel being in such an environment. It works best if you have practiced using the senses first back at school!
In the illustration above ten year olds have drawn crabs carefully, have completed research on crabs ( not shown) and have used their new knowledge to invent imaginative or 'magic' crabs. This process, going from prior knowledge, to observation and research and then into the imagination can be used with any study.
Whatever you choose to do , do it well. Early in the year is the time to 'teach' your students the importance of personal excellence. Too many students seem to think first finished is best!
Display fished work with a suitable heading, key questions, researched answers, graphs of animals etc, poetic language and expressive art. Or put in all on your class website. The depth of the work will depend on the age of the students.