Project 3: Project Reptiles

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): Elizabeth Coish
(epcoish@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)
School: Eugene Vaters Pentecostal Academy
16 Larkhall Street
St. John's, NF
A1B 2C3
(709) 722-7012
Grade Level: Students participating in this project are in grade 2.
Number of Students: There will be approximately 25 students involved.
Project Start and Finish Dates: The project is expected to be started and completed within a one month period.
  Project Overview

Students within the grade 2 class complete a unit of study on Reptiles. This unit of work enables the students to discover information about snakes, turtles, lizards and crocodiles. This class wishes to research more information than is available from the resources currently utilized. Specifically, we want to find out more about certain types of lizards such as the Tuatara and Komodo Dragons and so on. This project is designed to enable the students from this grade 2 class to correspond with students in parts of the world where there are reptiles and to compare these animals with the animals that live in our province of Newfoundland.

The students from this class would like to obtain e-mail accounts and e-mail addresses from schools where these reptiles are a common part of these students lives. This grade 2 class would write letters with questions for the other class to answer, relating to the reptiles they are studying. This class would also take advantage of access to the Internet and do searches for information relating to these reptiles.

  Curriculum Connections

This project allows for connections across the curriculum. Students will be involved in a project which is connected to their Science curriculum, Social Studies curriculum and Language Arts curriculum.

In the primary grades one of the objectives in Science is to study zoo animals and their habitats in the wild. Reptiles are one such animal which is studied in grade 2. Making contact with students have know a great deal about the everyday life of these animals will greatly enhance this class's knowledge.

In Social Studies, students in grade 2 study communities both locally and around the world. Connecting with another school to find out about reptiles will also enable the students to learn about that community. Students can also learn about the weather patterns and conserving the environment through this project.

Language Arts is another curricular area which will be enhanced through this project. The students will spend time practising their reading and writing skills. They must read the information found on the Internet and the correspondence received from around the world. They must also very carefully write letters to their new "e-mail friends," which will encourage writing and editing skills.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who participate in this project, will:

- become more aware of Reptiles and be able to identify the four types of Reptiles.
 
- examine Reptiles in captivity versus Reptiles in their natural environment.
 
- identify the habitat of Reptiles in the wild.
 
- study how these animals live in a community (groups or alone), how they find food and how they get protection.
 
- study the climate of where the Reptiles live.
 
- improve their reading and writing skills by writing fiction and non-fiction stories about the Reptiles.
 
- write letters and Thank-you notes to the resource people and their "e-mail friends."

Technology Outcomes:

Upon completion of this project, students will fulfill several of the technology outcomes intended for the primary level, as set forth by the Department of Education and Training, in the Technology Education: Curriculum Foundation Document. Included would be;

- students will recognize the effect of resource availability on choice of communication tools.
 
- evaluate communications products, both their own and others
 
- identify ways in which information and communications tools are used
 
- develop a vocabulary of terminology and language, related to selected communications technologies.
 
- identify ways in which people, including themselves, are affected by technological change
 
- identify information and communications tools in daily use at home and in school.
 
- use communications technologies to build new knowledge from existing information
 
- use communications tools for a variety of purposes

  Resource Connections

The STELLAR Schools Internet connection will enhance this project in a number of ways. The students will, for many of them, have their first experience with the Internet and e- mail. They will began the process of life-long learning with the current technology available to them. They will soon realize that information can be found around the world to help them in their day to day lives and schooling. Even at this early age, they will be able to access the Internet to obtain the endless knowledge that is at their finger-tips. These students will also make friends with students their age around the world. They will gain a greater understanding of how similar they are to children throughout the world. They will find out more about computers, getting on-line and accessing information, quickly.

Other resources used for this project include; books, magazines (both print and on-line), videos, CD Rom technology, audio tapes, resource people and reptiles from a local pet store.

  Evaluation

Evaluation for this project will be a constant and on-going process. It will consist of observations of students participation in the project, their interest in the project and use of the technology, and their final products they produce from the knowledge gained. Included will be;

- student interest in finding facts about Reptiles: How they hunt, mate, etc.
 
- student knowledge of the climate and weather conditions where these animals live and their comparisons with our climate in Newfoundland.
 
- student knowledge of Conservation - These animals need to be protected against extinction - which animals are endangered.
 
- knowledge of how these animals survive in the wild versus captivity.
 
- In Language Arts students reading and writing skills will be evaluated through stories, letters and research projects.
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