Project 2: Project Groundhog
The groundhog and his shadow are a piece of weather folklore often discussed in primary classrooms. Young children are interested in finding out if the groundhog is an accurate predictor of the weather. Project Groundhog engages students in exploring this concept. For the six weeks following Groundhog Day, February 2nd., students monitor and record the daily temperature and sky conditions. Students also record how often school was closed due to weather conditions. The information collected is shared weekly with participating schools via email and the Project Groundhog website. Students compare the weather in their communities with that of other communities around the province and around the country, and examine the groundhog's accuracy as a weather predictor.
Project Groundhog has a direct curriculum focus. It allows teachers to cover specific objectives in science, math, social studies and language arts. As well, it allows for the introduction of basic statistical analysis, graphing and charting.
Our school strives to provide an integrated curriculum, where students learn about things from a variety of perspectives and not as information in isolation.
This project provides the opportunity to cover a number of specific objectives, from a variety of subject areas.
Intended Learning Outcomes (as related to Provincial Learning Outcomes)
Science - At the completion of this project, the student will
Math - the student will
Social Studies - the student will
Language Arts - the student will
Intended Learning Outcomes for Technology Education
In this project, the students will become aware of the computer as a tool that provides information, enables us to record and transmit information, and enables us to communicate with other grade 2 classes. Although they will not use the technology on a daily basis, each child will help record data and retrieve reports at some point during the project.
The STELLAR Schools Internet connection is a critical part of this project, since it is the connection with other schools and communities that make comparison possible. We hope to use the Internet connection for other materials related to Groundhog day and for general information on weather predictions.
Other resources planned include a field trip to the airport in Deer Lake to find out about how weather impacts on its daily schedules. Also, we plan to invite a representative from the weather bureau to visit our class and discuss weather forecasting.
Students evaluation will follow directly from the intended learning outcomes and content objectives. Various things will be considered: ability to work together in group activities, interest in participating, ability to follow directions, individual reports - written and oral, and general involvement in the project. Obviously, teacher observation and child conferencing will be of the utmost importance.
The project provides the opportunity for students to be linked with children their own age, whom they have never met, for a specific learning activity. It will expose all students to the wide range of possibilities that information technology presents. It can also provide parents a chance to see what a fine learning tool the Internet can be.