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Project-Based Learning in Third and Fourth Grade

habitat_book.jpgThird and Fourth grade students at Cambridgeport have been studying habitats in science. As part of this study, they canoed on the Charles River and visited the Maynard Ecology Center. At the end of their unit on habits, they had developed a solid understanding of what must be present in a habitat in order to support an organism. Part of the study of habitats included researching a specific animal in order to understand how the animal survives in its habitat.

When the research was done, students were charged with writing a picture book about their animal. The librarian showed the students that while there were some good picture books about animals in the school library, there weren’t nearly enough. She asked them to write picture books that could be included in the school library collection for other students to check out, read, and enjoy.

habitat_book.pngIn the next stage of this project, students immersed themselves in the study of non-fiction picture books. They looked at the author’s craft, and chose published authors as mentors for their own writing. They drafted and revised their writing to share information about an animal in an interesting, engaging way. 

While they were crafting the writing during their writing workshop, they also worked on illustrations during art class. Students learned how to draw accurate representations of animals in action.

The final celebration of this project will be when the books the students have written are bar-coded and entered into the library collection.