Posted by: jwhiff | November 8, 2010

Class Visits and Wildlife Exploration

This past week was full of interesting events.

First, Rod MacVicar visited the class.  All of the students had a chance to ask him questions, many that were prepared ahead of time in the hopes that they would help them understand Rod and what he does.  Rod gave a great interview and the kids were curious and captivated for the better part of an hour.  They furiously wrote notes on his life.  This week, they will prepare a piece of writing from those notes.  All in all, interviewing is a great activity.  I think it is so important for the kids to know how to formulate and ask great questions.  They should be active in pursuit of knowledge, and not passive listeners.  They learn also to take notes and to listen carefully and thoughtfully enough that they generate questions in direct response to what they are hearing.  We have experienced 3 interviews so far this year, and I hope we will have many more.

The second exciting event was our field trip to the Reed Point Education Centre, which was hosted by Ruth Foster and Rod MacVicar.  The kids were transported in 2 batches across the Inlet to the Centre, which is essentially a floating classroom.  It was an amazingly beautiful and warm November day!  The morning was spent simply taking in and recording all the different kinds of animal life that Ruth and Rod could help them see.  Under microscopes, they saw plankton recovered from nets pulled behind the boat.  They pulled traps up from the bottom of the Inlet and viewed the life contained within in holding tanks and hand-held viewing cells.  They look over the sides of the dock to see sea anemones and jelly fish.  They even had the chance to see underwater  using the Centre’s underwater video camera.

In all, it was a great experience.  The kids are now generating life lists of species that they have actually had the chance to see with their own eyes (and in some cases, touch).  They are generating a picture of the diversity of life in the Inlet.  We are now going to apply this knowledge in the formation of more complete food webs.  We are also going to move on to understanding animal behaviour and physical adaptations.


Responses

  1. Sounds Like the kids really enjoyed it!!!!
    With the Rod MacVicar interview how do you plan to turn those notes that the students took into your big project?

    Kaleb

    • Great question, Kaleb. We used the notes just this past week and did some writing about Rod (paragraph form). The bigger purpose of the interview and notes is to get the students ready to ask questions and write notes all on their own once they have chosen an animal to study. They will need to find an expert to help them and then feel confident enough to ask the expert great questions.


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