Alaska Sea Grant

Investigation 5 - Communication

Class Time Required 7-12 class periods
Materials Needed
  • Science notebooks
  • Invitations for families, Native elders, and Culture-Bearers, as well as wider community
  • Document Source Reader if available
  • Student photographs from Investigation 4
  • Materials for displays and visual aids.
Teacher Preparation 1 hour to gather materials, 1 hour to arrange details.
Prior Student Knowledge Students will need prior practice in listening, collaborative work, and sharing of ideas. Students with practice in critical thinking skills will be able to defend their thinking and/or question a fellow student in a positive way, connecting to enduring understandings.
Vocabulary  
Science GLEs Addressed

1st and 2nd grade standards: SA1, SA2, SC1, SC2, SG4

3rd grade GLEs: SA1.1, SA2.1, SC1.2, SC2.2, SG4.1 

Investigation 5Overview: In this investigation, students will present their At Home In the Water activities, share their thinking, work on a hall display, and be a part of a classroom or whole school celebration of Alaska Seas and Watersheds Curriculum. They will be sharing with each other, with other students in the school, with parents, and with community members. As part of the culminating project they may also share local habitat information with other students around Alaska by posting their photos (from Investigation 4) and descriptions on the web.

Focus Questions:

  • How do we find out information?
  • How can we, as scientists, naturalists, and biologists share our information?


Engagement: (20 minutes)

Read to students about an animal’s habitat, to model the way that they will present their own information. Teacher modeling of using science notebooks, answering questions, defending thinking, and accepting appreciations of the presentation will assist students in understanding the expectations. You may want to role-play during your model presentation, by taking on the role of a scientist coming together with other scientists to ask for help in identifying newly found habitat. Dress in outdoor gear—coat, hat, rain-pants—and be equipped with magnifier, science notebook, backpack, and tools.

Students will use their experiences and information from the past two weeks, recorded in their science notebooks, to identify the habitat described. (Teacher does not describe the animal at first, so that students can use process of elimination to determine the actual animal from the uniqueness of the habitat.)


Exploration: (1 -2 class periods)

Organize students to give their own presentations about an animal and its habitat, creating a list of times that work for the classroom schedule. Organize students into groups of four to facilitate a practice session before actual presentations to the whole class. Invite them to role-play during their presentation, asking fellow scientists (peers) to listen to their findings.

Share expectations for presentations:

  1. Student is expected to use a strong voice, presenting their information as well as a drawing, diorama, and/or a photo.
  2. Students will allow questions and comments afterward.
  3. Audience is expected to listen carefully, asking questions or commenting on a difference of opinion while also appreciating the speaker for useful information, careful drawing, scientific labels, interesting questions, etc.

Ideally, students will generate a checklist/rubric that includes all the elements of their final presentation. Brainstorm with students and guide the process.

Allow students to practice their presentations in their groups.

Have the students ask each other questions about the specific habitat and animal presented or about possible connections to another animal with similar habitat or characteristics. The practice presentation should be about 5-10 minutes long with students asking each other questions at the end. This is the time for students to connect habitat information—book learning, field experience, visits from guests, and explorations in the classroom.


Explanation: (5-8 class periods, 10 to 15 minutes for each student)

It is recommended that the teacher plan 40-minute sessions with groups of four to keep students engaged and interested.

Students listen to each other as they share presentations of animals and habitat. Students are encouraged to listen carefully and then provide feedback to the presenter, ask questions, and make connections to habitats based on their own research. (Teacher models: “I notice that you have labeled all parts of your habitat.” OR “I wonder if there is something else in that habitat that your animal has adapted to  . . . such as lack of light,” etc.)

This is an important part of the presentation. When students ask each other questions, the student presenter will be encouraged to defend their thinking, share their ideas, and agree and disagree with each other about habitats. This is the place where students get to use their evidence to clarify understanding and specific information found through books and experiences. Animal characteristics and specific elements of habitats will be a key part of the presentation. (See Investigation 2—We Search.)

After each group of four students presents, follow up with a short discussion, guiding students to think about similarities and differences in animals and habitats. Students could also add more information and ideas for further study to their science notebooks if time allows.


Elaboration (1 class period for preparation, plus actual event)

Hold a Parent/Community Night, to share what the students have learned about aquatic habitats. Share information, artwork, science writing, and possible scientific findings.

Ask students to create and send out invitations to parents and flyers to community, for sharing information or display of artwork, science writing, and possible scientific findings.

Help students create a Scientific Conference of their work: display information, artwork, books, brine shrimp, mini-habitats, and any other exhibits from Seas and Rivers Curriculum course work. Each student can contribute an important finding or a product of their work.

Post photo descriptions from Investigation 4 in a hall display. They may also be shared with other students around the state on the “At Home in the Water” forum on this web site.


Evaluation:

Use the student-generated rubric/checklist to evaluate individual students during their presentations. Students will use the checklist to self-assess their own work and presentations. Comments can be shared for final discussion.

For additional assessment, use a final “I used to think . . . but now I know . . .” page in their science notebook.


Teacher Preparation:

Tips from Teachers

If time constraints prevent a full final celebration, end the unit by using the science notebook piece, sharing, and some type of display in the hall, and of course the final statement, "I used to think, but now I know..."!

Read through the investigation and supporting materials and consider your expectations for students.
Schedule in-class presentation times (no more than four students per session to avoid excessive sitting/listening).
Choose a time and date for a parent/community night, and create and send out invitations and advertising for the event.


Curricular Connections:

Language Arts. This investigation gives students a chance to practice and develop speaking skills, reading fluency, and skills in finding information.

Ideas for adapting to different local environment or context:
Everything should be done to make it possible for parents to come to school to view student work and possibly hear the students present information. If this is not possible, student presentations could be videotaped or put on a podcast to be made available through the Web. If a whole school celebration is not possible, this final culmination can be done during the day within a classroom setting, inviting parents to come in over their lunch hour.

 


Materials Needed for Investigation 1:  

Student Handouts

  Science notebooks

Items for Group Display

 

Material Items
  • Invitations for families, Native elders, and Culture-Bearers, as well as wider community
  • Student photographs from Investigation 4
  • Materials for displays and visual aids
Facility/Equipment Requirements 
  • Gathering place or audience seating with mini stage 
  • Display space in the school hallway
  • Document Source Reader if available

Alaska Science Standards and Grade Level Expectations Addressed:

1st and 2nd grade standards addressed:
A1 - Science as Inquiry and Process

SA Students develop an understanding of the processes and applications of scientific inquiry.
SA1 Students develop an understanding of the processes of science used to investigate problems, design and conduct repeatable scientific investigations, and defend scientific arguments.
SA2 Students develop an understanding that the processes of science require integrity, logical reasoning, skepticism, openness, communication, and peer review.

C1 - Concepts of Life Science
SC Students develop an understanding of the concepts, models, theories, facts, evidence, systems, and processes of life science.
SC1 Students develop an understanding of how science explains changes in life forms over time, including genetics, heredity, the process of natural selection, and biological evolution.
SC2 Students develop an understanding of the structure, function, behavior, development, life cycles, and diversity of living organisms.

G1 – History and Nature of Science
SG Students develop an understanding of the history and nature of science.
SG4 Students develop an understanding that advancements in science depend on curiosity, creativity, imagination, and a broad knowledge base.

3rd Grade GLEs addressed:
The student develops an understanding of the processes of science by:
[3] SA1.1 asking questions, predicting, observing, describing, measuring, classifying, making generalizations, inferring and communicating.

The student will demonstrate an understanding of the attitudes and approaches to scientific inquiry by:
[3] SA2.1 answering, “how do you know?” questions with reasonable answers.

The student demonstrates an understanding of how science explains changes in life forms over time, including genetics, heredity, the process of natural selection and biological evolution by:
[3] SC1.2 describing how some traits (e.g., claws, teeth, camouflage) of living organisms have helped them survive as a species.

The student demonstrates an understanding of the structure, function, behavior, development, life cycles, and diversity of living organisms by:
[3] SC2.2 observing and comparing external features of plants and of animals that may help them grow, survive, and reproduce.

The student demonstrates an understanding that advancements in science depend on curiosity, creativity, imagination, and a broad knowledge base by:
[3] SG4.1 asking questions about the natural world.


Essential Question:

  • Who lives where and why?

Enduring Understandings:

  • Living things have certain characteristics that help them survive.
  • Living things need food, water, oxygen, and shelter to survive.
  • Science is a way to help us answer questions about the world around us.
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