Reflection: Pacing No Place Like Home....Ecosystems in the Rain Forest - Section 4: Explore


The logical mind would say it makes sense to teach the distinction between habitats, ecosystems and biomes early on in the school year for students.  But my philosophy is that it should not be a focus early on.  

I believe that the learning should evolve and build so that students understand the concept and take ownership of the vocabulary. There are many different perspectives on how and the best ways to teach vocabulary. I use many of those teaching strategies and prescribe to them myself.  However, in this case, I do believe it should be introduced after students have had the opportunities to explore and learn about the world before they make this distinction.  

In this way, the learning is scaffolded and slowly taught in small increments that the students are able to add to their own personal bags of learning.  

Developmentally, children learn how to sort and classify in steps. They have been sorting and classifying plants and animals for many years by Second Grade.  When they enter in my classroom, we spend many lessons perfecting the art of this skill and understanding the diversity of the habitats. The students need time to experience all of this before they can move into a finer distinction of classifying habitats, ecosystems and biomes.  


  Distinguishing Vocabulary
  Pacing: Distinguishing Vocabulary
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No Place Like Home....Ecosystems in the Rain Forest

Unit 8: Unit 8 - Rain Forest
Lesson 4 of 11

Objective: SWBAT explain the concept of habitat, ecosystem and biome.

Big Idea: With the Rain Forest as a theme and the bromeliad as an object to teach the concept of homes to organisms, this lesson brings in the diversity within the size of homes to organisms.

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