Alaska Sea Grant

Investigation 5 - Sharing What We Know

Class Time Required

3-4 class periods plus one all-afternoon or evening session for the Celebration

Materials Needed
  • Science notebooks
  • All materials created during the investigations
  • Paper and art supplies to make invitations and decorations
  • Food, beverages, paper plates, utensils, etc. for Celebration
Teacher Preparation

Organize all of the student work and materials from the unit.

Set dates and invite others to Celebration.

Set up room to facilitate presentations.

Enlist parents and volunteers as needed. 

Prior Student Knowledge

Students will use their experiences, skills, and knowledge from all of the Investigations in the unit. 


expert, forum, panel

Science GLEs Addressed

A1, A2, C2

Investigation 5Overview: In this investigation, children will reflect on what they have learned as they complete the O-W-L chart that they began in Investigation 1. They will plan ways to share their new knowledge with the whole school and/or community and prepare for an Alaska Seas and Watersheds Celebration. After learning and practicing ways to present information, they will display and present their work to others. The investigation extends over 3 or 4 class periods, and culminates with a long afternoon or evening celebration. 

Focus Question:

  • How do we share information?

Engagement (20-40 minutes):
Review the O-W-L chart from Investigation 1 and have children share their thinking about what they know now. Fill in the “L” of the chart: “What do we now know?” “How did we find out?”

Ask students to brainstorm in their science notebooks, using a “glue in” to draw pictures with simple sentences and labels. (“What I know now” in one box and “what questions I still have” in a second box). Have students pair up and share their entries and thinking with each other, and eventually with the whole group. What are the common things students have learned? Differences? What questions could be part of an extended investigation?

Then, discuss the upcoming Alaska Seas and Watersheds Celebration and ask: “How will we share this information with our families, other students, and community?”

Work with students to create a display of their knowledge. This might include the following.
•    An underwater scene
•    Puppets for a puppet theater
•    Science notebooks
•    Class book
•    Animal sculptures
•    Photos of students working at school and at the field session
•    Songs, poems
•    A play or Readers Theater
Everything they have done in the unit can be on display. Let students plan their celebration, deciding how information will be displayed, what kinds of artistic forms they would like to perform, and how food will be shared. Help students invite parents, other teachers and students, community members, scientists, and Native elders and culture-bearers to the celebration.

Explanation (Half day or a few hours of time split up over several days):
Encourage students to share their processes of finding out information, collecting data, and completing investigations, in addition to sharing their content knowledge. Arrange for students to practice sharing their information, so that they become “experts” and experienced speakers.

Students will share their information by guiding visitors, answering questions, and showing their best work. They may discuss scientific information and answer questions by modeling a scientific panel or forum during their celebration. Students could be given a list of questions to study and visitors could then choose from those questions focused on local plants and animals.

Ask students to use photos of their work and write brief articles for the school newspaper and/or on the school or the Alaska Seas and Watersheds website.

Students might also share their work by taking their findings to a preschool and/or the Pioneer Home (or other elder care). The first graders would have to consider their audience and plan for speaking to them, giving information and asking for questions.

Encourage students to continue an independent investigation, and consider following up with a science fair or another experience that allows them to share outside of their classroom.

Observe and evaluate student skills and knowledge as you listen to their discussion and check their science notebooks. Identify their abilities to ask additional questions and/or extend their thinking beyond the current topic of study.

Work with students to create a rubric that sets forth the criteria for excellent presentations.

Teacher Preparation

Tips from Teachers

No tips are currently available.

Read through the materials including the Teacher Background and Celebrating Alaska Seas and Watersheds.
Work with other school staff to schedule the celebration. If it will not be a whole school celebration, invite the other classes to attend practice sessions and/or your event.
Invite guests to the celebration using child-created invitations, announcements in the school newsletter, and/or posters and other community announcements. Enlist parents and volunteers to help with food (fish, shellfish, seaweed, and other local “aquatic foods” if possible!) and supplies such as paper plates and napkins. Check out the Alaska Sea Grant bookstore and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute for some recipe books.

Curricular Connections:

The celebration will give students ample opportunities to develop skills in Language Arts as they speak and explain, and act as guides for their guests. Art, drama, and music are also incorporated into the celebration.

Materials Needed for Investigation 5:  

Student Handouts

Science notebooks

Items for Group Display
  • Photos
  • Class ABC book
  • Research results
  • Animal Sculptures
  • Life Cycle Wheels
  • Riddles
  • “Backpacks”
  • Science Notebooks
  • Charts created by class
  • Creature Feature Class Book
  • “What Do You Know” Board game 
Material Items

Art supplies for invitations and decorations

Facility/Equipment Requirements 

Hallway, wall, and other display space.

Gathering space for student presentations with "audience seating."

Alaska Science Grade Level Expectations Addressed:

In Investigation 5, First Grade students begin to build toward these K-12 Alaska Science Standards:

Science as Inquiry and Process
(A1) develop an understanding of the processes of science used to investigate problems, design and conduct repeatable scientific investigations, and defend scientific arguments.

(A2) develop an understanding that the processes of science require integrity, logical reasoning, skepticism, openness, communication, and peer review.

Concepts of Life Science
(C2) develop an understanding of the structure, function, behavior, development, life cycles, and diversity of living organisms.

Essential Question:

  • What kinds of plants and animals live in or near the water?

Enduring Understandings:

  • Plants and animals can be sorted into groups based on different characteristics.

  • People use the plants and animals of the seas and rivers in different ways.

Alaska Sea Grant University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Department of Education and Early Development NOAA