This August Farm Discovery partnered with 5 first grade PVUSD teachers in a Science Learning Leaders institute that was designed to connect classroom teachers with local environmental educators to develop a new 5E’s, NGSS aligned lesson plan that will start and end in the classroom sandwiched by an engaging exploration of the farm in between.
The phenomenon: Farm animals and plants live and sleep outdoors, while managing to stay warm.
Seven classes from Calabasas, HA Hyde, Starlight and Hall Elementary schools began their 5E science exploration in their classrooms with and engagement activity also designed assess prior knowledge. The students drew pictures of chickens and labeled as many body parts as they could name. On the farm we engaged again with the Similarity Scramble Game. In this activity students practice sorting themselves by shared characteristics. In this way they begin to think about different body parts, their function and how they are like and dissimilar to their classmates.
The students were then invited to enter the chicken coop to explore and observe the chickens, their body structures and their habitat. When they were done the received new chicken pictures to label, this time being significantly more aware of the body parts of a chicken and their functions.
Back in their classrooms, students first work to explain their observations of chicken body parts as they graph and categorize the body parts observed on the farm.
The first graders then continued their exploration of chickens and goats body parts, given fur and feathers to manipulate. They chose a material to work with and designed a solution for humans to be able to stay warm outside too. They then test their solution models using the scientific method and explain their results in a variety of formats, including a scientific poster and presentation to classmates or a video.
In the elaboration step students will redesign their models based on what they have learned from their classmates models.