Ed Tech Ideas

Tech Integration for Busy Teachers

Inspiration – Animals With a Bad Rep

Pythons - by Benjamin

In a recent Foss science unit, a third grade class was learning about the structures of life. The teacher wanted her students to be able to focus on a specific animal and learn about the following things: Physical Traits, babies, habitat, food, behaviors/interactions and anything that “wow’d” the student about their animal. What made this project different from other animal research projects is that the students could only choose their animals from a list of “animals with a bad rep.” This included animals like anacondas, sharks, cockroaches, human bot flies, killer bees, wasps, bats, and naked mole rats, just to name a few. In order to speed the project along, the teacher pre-selected a couple dozen websites which I dropped in a network folder that the students have access to.

Sharks - by Nicholas

After gathering all of the information, I had the students begin an Inspiration diagram about their animal. The diagram had three levels: The main topic (the animal); the research category (physical traits, habitats, etc.); and the information that the students found.  After all the information was entered (the rapid fire feature in Inspiration makes this step go quickly), the students were then instructed on how to arrange their diagrams to better display their findings in a hierarchal way.

Watch this video to see how rapid fire works.


Monkeys - by Ellen

The open-endedness of this project made differentiation effortless.  Some students were able to get their research organized with a few facts and display it in an organized way. There were others who listed over 30 facts on their given animal, and then went on to change the font, create new line colors, add new shapes, and insert pictures.

Here is the list of websites used in this project:
ANIMAL Websites

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