Science if the real world, not just an academic subject. Students have been learning a lot about ecosystems through research and experiment. Now its time for them to put that knowledge to the test of planning to solve a real-world and relevant problem. Although we live in a city with a lot of trees, our playground and the neighborhood around us are covered in cement where there should be green bushes and trees as well as neighborhood wildlife like butterflies and hummingbirds.
In this lesson, I teach students to focus their note taking on answer the question of how we can bring more wildlife to our school yard. They will read a few articles and create a diagram of what and where we can plant that would make wildlife come to our school.
After learning about the problem and reviewing the question, students set off to take notes and plan for a solution to the problem. Before they start, we discuss what sort of information we might need. Students share that we need to to know what producers animals need and what other types of food and shelter will create a healthy ecosystem for the animals.
I review the strategy to take notes on the main idea and identify a few details that support the main idea.
They are given a few different articles to read and synthesize information from. Students work together to support comprehension in difficult content specific nonfiction texts. They can take notes together and share ideas about what is most important in the text that would help them solve the problem.