Inquiring Minds Want to Know...Teaching Vertebrates through Inquiry

byKathleen G. Gormley

Do you ever feel like you are doing most of the work in your classroom? What do your students do when you ask them a higher order thinking questions that requires them to formulate a unique answer? Well if your classroom is similar to my classroom, you realize that students are hesitant to use their own thoughts to answer a question. In the unit I have created, students will begin to see themselves as scientists. They will engage in exploring during science, they will design and carry out investigation. Students will be responsible for communicating their observations and then propose explanations for these explorations.

In my third grade classroom, I want to provide students with hands-on activities that stimulate their inquisitiveness. Using Delaware Science Standards and combining them with Common Core State Standards in English/ Language Arts, I have developed a cross curricular unit that enables students to use non-fictions texts, journaling, and science investigations to study vertebrates. Using owl pellets and albatross boluses, they will compare and contrast species. Also, they will investigate the form and function of bones and compare human bones to the bones found inside the owl pellets.

(Developed for Science, Human Body, grade 3; recommended for Science, Biology, and Human Anatomy, grades 2-5)

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