Welcome Back and New Unit of Inquiry

Happy New Year!  Welcome Back!  We hope that all of our students and parents had an enjoyable and restful break.

The children came back to class and immediately began diving into the new unit.  We are focusing on “how the world works” by trying to improve our “understanding of scientific principles.” The unit focuses on how “animal characteristics help them survive in their environment.”

There are two main parts to this unit.  The first two weeks are dedicated to teaching about animal classification.  The students learn how scientists use animal characteristics to classify animals.  The second part, each first grade class will be learning about a specific habitat.

The unit began with a pre-assessment on the students ability to classify animals based on their characteristics.  The students then formed learning groups to uncover key characteristics of 7 major animal groups (mammal, reptile, amphibian, fish, bird, insect and arachnid).  The groups independently researched their animal group and this week will be presenting their findings to the class.  As the groups are presenting, the other students are taking notes so they can classify all animals like scientists.  At the end of these two weeks, the students will once again classify animals hopefully showing their new knowledge of animal groups.

The second part of the unit is dedicated to learning about a habitat.  Each first grade class will be exploring a particular habitat to learn how specific animal characteristics help them survive in that particular environment. The students will once again form learning groups to do independent research.  They will have to create a nonfiction book and an activity about their topic.  At the end of the unit, the students will teach each other about their habitats.

This is a very exciting unit for the children.  Animals are high interest for most first grade students.  Please be sure to ask your child about what they are learning.

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