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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

Sea Life Exploration


Project URLhttp://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/ps1/echristian/ 

How it works:
During this program, students obtain basic knowledge of animal life in the ocean. They become aware that sea life has an impact on our environment, and that our environment has an impact on sea life. They become aware of the many different available research media (literary and reference books, encyclopedias, computer software, the Internet, etc.) and resource sites (class, school, and  public library; Internet Web sites; etc.) and learn to utilize these media and resources to facilitate their study. They are introduced to the computer and other technology tools that can enhance their study, and have hands-on opportunities to obtain basic knowledge and skills to use some of these tools. Sea Life Exploration provides a starting point for further integration of technology into class projects.

Standards addressed:
New York
State Learning Standards addressed include using scientific inquiry to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions; accessing, generating, processing, and transferring information using appropriate technologies; understanding and applying scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognizing the historical development of ideas in science; applying technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs; understanding the relationships and common themes that connect science and technology and applying these themes to various areas of learning; and applying science, technology, and thinking skills to address real-life problems and make informed decisions.

Materials used:
Equipment used includes tape recorders, a TV/VCR, digital cameras, projectors, and a computer with Internet connection. Computer software includes an Internet browser," webbing" software such as Inspiration, word processing software such as AppleWorks, Student Writing Center, or Microsoft Word, and digital image-editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. Other media includes books and videotapes related to sea life/ocean animals.

The students:
The target student grade level is 2 through 4. Students involved in this program have been heterogeneously grouped second graders in P.S. 1’s science cluster class. Many of these students were in dual-language classrooms where they were taught in both English and Chinese. Most students did not have access to computers at home. Therefore, our lesson plans include basic computer training sessions. This program can be developed with monolingual, bilingual, and dual-language students. They would need to know or learn how to alphabetize, use chapter books, tables of contents, and book indexes and develop basic computer skills.

Overall value:
Although it has a science theme, Sea Life Exploration is an interdisciplinary study that also incorporates social studies, art, reading/writing, and technology. It employs inquiry-based learning by soliciting questions and answers from students and allows them to take charge of their own study and decide what specific sea life subjects they will focus on. It emphasizes the importance of research and provides strategies and tools in building students’ research skills. It introduces the many ways computers and technology can be used to enrich the learning experience.

Encourage your students to talk and write about their work. Ask questions that will generate interest and enthusiasm about the topic.  Make connections between the class study and the outside world, and create environmental awareness and a personal sense of responsibility. Utilize the wealth of information on the Internet from printed and videotaped resources for student and teacher. 



About the teacher:
Eleanor Christian is a New York State- and New York City -certified early childhood teacher with over 30 years of teaching experience. She holds a Master of Science degree in Education and an ESL ancillary license. Presently, she serves as an Early Childhood Science Cluster teacher at P.S. 1 in New York City’s Community School District Two. In addition to her regular teaching assignments, she has participated in many special school programs and projects, and served in many school committees and leadership team capacities. She has also taught educational courses at a local community college. Ms. Christian collaborates on this program and lesson plan units with her two colleagues – Amy Hom, who is a Standards Staff Developer, and Kathy Huey, who is a Technology Staff Developer.

Email: echristian@onebox.com 

Subject Areas:
Social Studies

Grade Levels:



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