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Grade 4: Habitats and adaptations of crustaceans (fiddler crab), arthropods (millipede), and amphibians (African Dwarf frog)

Description: The three 4th grade classes at Caleb W.Bucher Elementary School in the Manheim Township School District, Lancaster, PA are participating in a cross-curricular (Reading, Science, Writing, Information Literacy and NETS*S) project. The fourth graders are studying examples of crustaceans (fiddler crab), arthropods (millipede), and amphibians (African Dwarf frog) as part of their science curriculum. Through this project, the students are interested in learning about the different habitats and adaptations for these animals.
We are interested in sharing the student created journals with other fourth grade students. We’d like to connect (through videoconference) with other classes to learn more about these types of animals from different environments and habitats to compare and contrast their adaptations with the animals we studied.
Dates: December 14 or 16 between 12:35 and 3 PM EST
Sign up method: Exploding Collaboration
Grades: 4
Subjects: Language Arts/English, Science (Life)
Outcomes: PA Standards:
4th Grade Science
What affects the life of an animal?
How do scientists conduct animal behavior research?
What is a habitat and how do animals adapt to their habitats?
What needs do animals have?

4th Grade Reading
Identify, interpret, and use text organization, features, and graphics in nonfiction texts.

4th Grade Writing
Write multi-paragraphed (work to end of year expectations of 5 good paragraphs)
• Use of relevant graphics and informational pieces such as descriptions, letters, reports, instructions, and essays that show evidence of:
o Cause and effect
o Problem and solution
o Compare and contrast

Preparation Time Frame: You will need several class periods prior to the connection to prepare the writing, send it to the other class, create a response, and then the 45-60 minute videoconference.
Methods and Activities: Each class prepares the original writing. Classes will then share selected journals, observation, what they learned, successes and challenges. Students will discuss local experiences with similar species as they were learning about habitat and adaptations.
Responsibilities: Teacher will make contact before the event and select students to speak. They will share what their class did and explain in detail what they wish to share during the video conference. They will work out detail of timing and leadership.
Students will read whatever the partner class sends and will prepare questions about what the other class learned. Students will prepare an introduction to their school, city and state. Students will prepare to discuss their experiences with the animals studied and Bucher Students will talk about the visiting author, Matt Novak and their Fort Worth Zoo Video conference.
Agenda: Agenda: 50 minutes
5 min. Welcome and introductions. Each class shares their location and brief information about their school.
20-30 min. Classes take turns sharing their writing and describing the species studied. Each school will share their stories, their animals, their studies and more about animals in their local environment.
5-15 min. Question and answer. Students may enjoy asking each other questions about their respective locations and animals in these species.
Credit: This is a MAGPI Fellows project – we received a grant from MAGPI for this project.

Jill Greiner
Phone: 717-560-3117
Time Zone: GMT-5: Eastern Standard Time

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