In biology our class recently learnt how living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment. The students were given the task to scan the QR codes provided in the RIC Publications Science: A STEM Approach Resource*
I adapted this lesson slightly by placing the QR codes onto a Y-chart for the students to research within their groups. Once the students worked together to compare and highlight the similarities and differences between three plants or animals (for example the Australian desert tree frog, Rainforest tree frog, and Alaskan tree frog) they then participated in a gallery walk to view each group work, to describe further similarities/differences in their findings.
Finally, students participated in a whole-class discussion regarding the definition of both structural features of adaptation and behavioral features of adaptation.
As a class, we classified behavioural and structural adaptations and cemented an understanding of each.
*alternatively, you could allow students to research images of plants & animals you would like the students to learn more about or create your own QR codes for these by clicking here.
The 5/6 class have become city engineers! They were challenged to design a new city with street names and locations of buildings, parks, and landscaping requirements. To get approval from the city leaders their proposal had to be creative, colourful, and show accurately drawn lines and angles.
The students were required to include at least 6 parallel streets, streets that intersected to form an obtuse angle, a church on an acute angle, a shopping center on a right-angle corner, a police and fire department across from each other on a parallel street, an ice cream shop and library across from each other at an intersection and at least 12 residential houses for people to live in.
Not only did this fun project engage students whole-heartedly, it helped them further hone in on developing STEM skills in problem-solving, critical and creative thinking.
Furthermore, the open-ended nature of this task allows for various opportunities for creative assessment and differentiation -making this a task I plan to use again!
Our class has been learning about endangered animals and the global issues that are threatening the survival of these species.
As critical and creative problem solvers we participated in a HASS inquiry research project (linked to our understandings of adaptations in biological science & creating non-fictional texts in literacy) to identify the threats impacting the Polar Bear, Spider Monkey, Sloth, Black Rhino and Amur Tiger.
Once the threats impacting these animals were identified we were able to participate in the engineering process to design and build an invention to save the endangered species.
For example, in order to support the devasting impact of global warming threatening our Polar Bears environment, our students invented an underwater air-conditioner – ‘The Ice Breaker 3000,’ that would keep the ice caps from melting, how creative is that!
Other brilliant ideas included sanctuaries that were protected by new laws and patrolled by rangers to protect our Sloths and Spider-monkeys from poachers and illegal logging threatening their environments.
Our class favourite, however, was an irrigation system called, ‘The Soil Soaker,’ designed to support the devastating threat of deforestation impacting the Amur Tigers. This irrigation system was designed to rejuvenate the soil and plant trees in areas requiring rehabilitation.