When you think of your elementary school days, what stands out to you? I want my students to remember our classroom's science center(s) teaming with creatures in various stages of their life cycle.
My students love bugs - and they're starting to turn our classroom into a living entomology museum!
I teach at a small school in rural Florida. My classes include many students for whom English is their second language (including one student that has come to us recently speaking no English) and students who have special learning needs. Our fourth grade is departmentalized and I try to do projects & find enough materials to get every child involved. I am amazed at the level and complexity of the conversations they have during project/lab time and try have as many hands-on activities as possible in order to draw out those conversations.
In the past, I've borrowed books from our school library based on the topic we are currently studying in science class. This year, however, I am faced with a more difficult situation. My students have a wider range of reading abilities and I have a student that has recently come to us speaking no English. In order to me to meet the needs of my students, I need books about animals and insects on lower reading levels and in my non-English speaker's native language.
I carefully selected these book to serve as resources to reach all of my learners - from my high ones that need to be challenged, to my lower readers that need the science content brought to them on their reading level, to my non-English speaking students that need the content brought to them in their own language.
Each book was selected based on the standards I need to teach my students - from life cycles to animal behaviors to animal adaptions. They will serve as a point of reading interest and also to build background knowledge for my students that may not have the life experiences needed for the science class.
The bug terrariums have been set up and filled with living creatures. The students are making observations and trying to figure out what a terrifying-looking "carnivorous beetle" is. Their research in these books on their level will lead them to the discovery that we're raising...lady bugs!
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