If We Build It, They Will Come

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Objective

Students will be able to construct a bat house in order to provide a solution to the endangerment of the Little Brown Bat.

Big Idea

Learning content, investigating problems, and communicating information are all a part of science. However, sharing a response to a problem with a larger group than the classroom is at a higher level of learning.

Mini Lesson

10 minutes

Today is building day!  We have worked for weeks in math, reading, writing, science, social studies, and in technology to make a difference in the found problem for the Little Brown Bat. This fully rounded, real-world, project based unit comes to a close today with the construction of 16 bat houses. 

Community members, the local Home Depot, and even our Superintendent and Board Members are in attendance to assist students and learn about how a change can be made. 

As a lesson today, I review with the students why we are doing this, how to safely handle tools, and review the construction steps for their building (which I had students write out in our writing session yesterday). 

Active Engagement

60 minutes

As the student teams worked with their adult supervisors, I circulated the room to assist, discuss questions, and prompt the students to teach the adults in the room the science behind this project. 

Also, while the teams were building, I had all of the PSA's looping on a large screen on the wall. Although today is an active construction day, we also used it as a time to inform and explain how our community can help these animals. 

For today's video, I chose to place some student interviews in the closing section for you to better understand how the science is incorporated into a construction activity. However, I am including here, the clip from last year so you can get a glimpse of what the day was like, along with a few photos from today, one being of a student explaining why we are building bat houses to a school board member

 

Closing

10 minutes

While teams finished up the construction of the bat houses and indulged in some popsicles, I chatted with a few students. My only question was, "Why are you doing this project?"  I was glad when no one responded, "because you told us to"!

Listen to the information this student pours out, with no notes, queuing, or time to reflect. He has wonderful vocabulary, understands the purpose, and give evidence for our solution. 

This student blew me away with her fluency in her presentation!  She completely understands how the bat houses can help, why the bat needs help, and how all of it affects our world. 

Listen to the joy in this student!  She discusses how one can learn, even while having fun:) What a great way to go through school.

This student went full force in her learning about bats in general and became organically concerned about the population of bats. She spend free time spreading the word and was changed by this project. She told me later that she thought she might want to be a scientist that found ways to help endangered species. Now that is a successful project!