Indiana Mammals and Their Environments

This is my PBL project about Common Indiana Mammals and their Environments

Inquiry Project

Team member

Name: Jacob Hendershot

Name: Isaac Smith

Topic: Indiana Mammals and their environments

Part 1:  Driving question:

  • What are your three initial driving questions?
  • How can we create an environment where Indiana mammals can thrive in?
  • How do animals interact and survive with each other in the same environment?
  • What can we do to protect everyday animals in Indiana?
  • What is your one, final driving question?
  • What can we do to protect everyday animals in Indiana?

Background information of this driving question:

First Grade: 1.LS.4

Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and

animals (including humans) and the places they live.

Basically, we plan on having the kids go to a park or zoo before they’re introduced to the question to study/notice different habitats and how the animals interact with the environment. Then we plan on showing them a story about animals going extinct because of how humans change the environments and ask the students what they can do to make sure the everyday animals around them can survive. They will create short presentations using models to show a possible environment where their specific animal can survive in.

  • Does the DQ warrant in-depth study?
  • Yes, it allows the students to study not just the animals, but what they need to strive and also how humans impact the environment.
  • Is the DQ an authentic and relevant issue/problem for my students?
  • Yes, using common everyday mammals from Indiana will allow them to actually make a change and notice things in their own backyard or park. Giving them this hands-on ability to do something about the problem helps them get more involved.
  • Is there more than one plausible solution to the DQ?
  • Yes, there are many different ways humans and animals can interact and live together and it’s up to each student to decide what they think works best, even if there is no “best” answer.
  • Does the DQ provide opportunities for students to evaluate, analyze, present, and defend their solutions?
  • Yes, by having them create a model to explain not only the animals and their needs to survive, but also how humans impact the environment and their proposed solution. They will research this information to evaluate and analyze it and then present their solution and give reasons why they think it’s the best one.

Part2: Grabber

  • What is your grabber?

We would create a presentation for the students providing the background information for the question, describing how mammals are at risk of extinction and what kind of habitat the animals need to survive.

  • Why do you think this grabber is beneficial and how it  align with your driving question?
  • Does the story, article, video, announcement, role play, or other resource hook the learner into asking more questions about the topic?
  • Yes, the national geographic article explains that 25% of mammals are at risk of extinction and the learners will want to know why that is or how we can fix it.
  • Does the grabber capitalize on novelty and / or high emotion situations?
  • Children love animals and being told that 1 in every 4 animals is at risk of dying will capitalize on their high emotions.
  • Does the grabber establish authenticity & relevance?
  • The relevance relates to the mammals specifically in Indiana that they see everyday at the park or in their backyard and the story is authentic because it’s a national geographic article describing a real world issue that needs to be addressed.
  • We would use the presentation to introduce the problem of extinction and then go into the specific animals and their habitats to describe what they need to survive that they don’t already have.
  • Culminating activities: List all your activities here:

1) Activity 1

  • Zoo Field Trip
  • We would take the class on a field trip to the zoo to open them up to different environments and how they differ from animal to animal. After they get back from the zoo, they will fill out a worksheet/discuss the habitats that they noticed and how some of the animals may not have been getting what they needed to survive, if anything at all.
  • Why do you think this is a good activity for PBL?
  • How is the activity authentic?
  • Taking the students to a real life zoo helps show them how animals really live in their given habitats and how humans affect those habitats.
  • Does the activity provide students with the opportunity to present and defend problem solution?
  • Through discussing what they noticed at the zoo, they are able to present and defend their beliefs about what was good/bad about the habitats.
  • Does the activity require student collaboration?
  • Having them get into a circle discussion gets them to collaborate on their ideas and what they thought was important.
  • How will I judge what students have learned from the activity?
  • We will mediate the discussions, making sure that everyone is staying involved and understanding the information. This activity leads into the main activity, so it won’t have it’s own rubric, but will be involved in the final rubric.

2) Activity 2

  • Claymation Presentation
  • This activity would involve the students getting in small groups and creating claymation habitats of specific, common Indiana mammals. They will be given the information for their chosen animal and what they would need to include in the habitat. Once the habitat is built, they will present it to the class, describing why they put what they put in the habitat and the importance of that to the survival of the animal.
  • How is the activity authentic?
  • The project is authentic in the fact that the students will be making their own habitat of animals that they chose, which makes it more important and authentic for the students.
  • Does the activity provide students with the opportunity to present and defend problem solution?
  • The students will present their habitat and defend why they built it the way they did, explaining all of the parts of the habitat that are important to the animal’s survival.
  • Does the activity require student collaboration?
  • The students will be divided into small groups to present their specific animal, so they will be working together to create and explain the habitats. Also, the rest of the class will be able to ask questions about the habitat at the end of each presentation.
  • How will I judge what students have learned from the activity?
  • We will create a rubric grading the students on the content that they present and how well of an understanding they have of it, along with the work quality and creativity of their habitat and how well they presented it.
  • Rubric:
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