Reflection: High Quality Task What is a Habitat? - Section 3: Activity


Scientific modeling is integral in first grade because it allows students to become actively involved in building, drawing, and describing scientific concepts that then lead to deeper understanding. Remember back to Bloom's taxonomy, the higher order thinking skills are evaluate, analyze, and create - all of which student have to do when creating a model. In this lesson, when my students are looking at a small square of the school yard, they may at first see just grass. So, we start there, and they draw the grass. Then as they watch things crawl, fly, and move around in their square, they continue to add to it and their model changes.

One thing I was really intrigued by with this lesson was how well my student's models matched their photograph of their small square. I did not set that up as an expectation because I wanted them to have the opportunity to really look around- and they did! One group decided that their small square actually went all the way up to the sky and included birds that flew over them and a tree branch above them. Since all of those things are part of the habitat of the school yard, I think that was great - they really used their senses to evaluate their environment. Some students were less inclusive with their models and didn't draw it as a 'scene', which was what I expected, and they drew individual items - complete with labels! Again, since I did not limit them to how to draw their model, that was a great way for them to incorporate skills they already have with new information. All in all, the models contained the same information for the most part, but used different methods to record it. The photographs really supported this because it gave students an accurate representation of the area so that if they weren't able to draw something specific, they could reference it in the photograph.

  High Quality Task: Modeling Scientific Ideas
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What is a Habitat?

Unit 4: Living Organisms - Habitats
Lesson 1 of 6

Objective: SWBAT observe a habitat in the school yard and create a diagram.

Big Idea: A habitat can be big or small - or in your own school yard!

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Science, First Grade
  50 minutes
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