A Multidisciplinary Unit
http://teachersnetwork.org/ Once ample research has been done, the
class is ready for the hands-on portion of the unit. Students demonstrate knowledge and mastery of science concepts through presentations and visual art designs. Students create a class book, design murals, construct dioramas, record field journals during trips, and cook foods related to the study of biodiversity. These projects not only demonstrate learning, but also serve as educative displays for the class to refer to, as well as for the enjoyment of other students and school administrators.
How it works:
Biodiversity is a highly enjoyable interdisciplinary
program that helps elementary-level students achieve performance standards in Science, Social Studies, Art, Language Arts, Geography, and Technology. The class completes research online, engages in web-based activities and uses interactive material online using educational content from the American Museum of Natural History, among others.
Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of characteristics of organisms; life cycles of organisms; organisms and their environment; the properties of Earth materials and organisms. Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of big ideas and unifying concepts; an understanding of the designed world; and an understanding of science as a human endeavor. Students will ask questions about natural phenomena; objects and organisms; and events and discoveries. Students will use evidence from reliable sources to construct explanations. Students will work individually and in teams to collect and share information and ideas. Students will use technology and tools to gather data and extend the senses. Students will acquire information from multiple sources, such as experimentation and print and non-print resources. Students will represent data and results in multiple ways. Students will use facts to support conclusions. Students will communicate in a form suited to the purpose and the audience. Students will demonstrate scientific competance by completing a design, and completing non-experimental research using print and electronic information.
A computer with an LCD projector, 3-4 computers with Internet connection, books and magazines, art supplies, drawing paper, class bulletin board, world maps, book-making supplies, student journals, and a digital camera would be helpful to document student work.
Instead of learning from a static textbook, students are engaged in hands-on learning through use of the Internet. Students are working in cooperative groups for much of the lessons, as both Internet researchers and while working on group projects and presentations. Students get to blend the study of art and science; creating attractive and educative class materials which can be shared with other classes and the entire school population.
About the Author:
Phillip Seymour is a nationally recognized education trainer and consultant on visual perception and arts/media curriculum integration. He has taught in the New York City public schools and teaches and trains at national universities and educational institutions. Presently, Phillip is an instructor at New York University and the City University of New York.