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Engaged Learning Project-Final

Title of Project: Ecology Life Cycles


Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): 4
Abstract:
Using the scientific method, activities will include data collection, observation, and problem solving.
Math skills include graphing, data analysis, statistics, and problem solving. Students will be able to
describe ecosystems and the members of those systems, analyze interrelationships within ecosystems
and the factors which affect the balance of nature, and generate solutions to environmental problems.
Students will be environmentally aware and understand their impact on the environment. Students will
be grouped based on their interest. Groups will consist of 4 students/5 groups. The teachers role is to
facilitate and assist students in using resources and technology available, and problems solving
strategies.
Learner Description/Context:
The 4th Grade students at Wilcox County Elementary School will be able to describe ecosystems and the
members of each system. Microsoft Word will be used daily to record findings or thoughts from the
students observations. This will be similar to journal writing. Students will explore the community and
determine what living and non-living things make up a habitat.
Time Frame: This project will span 6 weeks, with students working on their project approximately one
hour per day.
Standards Assessed:
S4CS5. Students will communicate scientific ideas and activities clearly.
S4CS8. Students will understand important features of the process of scientific inquiry.
S4L1. Students will describe the roles of organisms and the flow of energy within an ecosystem.
S4L2. Students will identify factors that affect the survival or extinction of organisms such as
adaptation, variation of behaviors (hibernation), and external features (camouflage and protection.)
Learner Objectives: Students will be able to describe ecosystems and the members of those systems,
analyze interrelationships within ecosystems and the factors which affect the balance of nature, and
generate solutions to environmental problems.
The hook or Introduction:
Students will draw out of a hat/box the ecosystem in which their project will be based. The students are
responsible for their own individual learning as well as group learning. The students should become
excited and energized once their discoveries begin. They will also be allowed to collaborate among
friends and community.
Process:
Each group will contain 4 students. Each student will be assigned a job within their group. One student
will act as a facilitator, another student will act as a reporter, the last two students will act as explorers.
Students will create and organize a Google Docs document where they will record their findings
including links to resources. The students will also use a digital camera to record and upload pictures to
go along with their writings. The students will be able to update their information and resources at
anytime.
The teacher will be helping groups develop and construct their ecosystem along with the other groups
that will be allowed to give suggestions. After that, teacher will train students on Google Docs and how
to operate this site. The teacher will set up G Class Folders for students to share work and for the teacher
to monitor.
Product:
Students will produce a Google document with information and links to resources about ecosystems and
the environment (living/non-living organisms). They will provide facts and evidence about the project.
The finished product will be meaningful to the students because they can manage and learn from their
Jo Williamson, Ph.D., Kennesaw State University

Engaged Learning Project-Final


findings. Students will also use Microsoft Excel to record and analyze data collected (graphing).
Students will self-assess themselves through their personal journal writing and classroom activities.
Technology Use
The Internet will be used to research information. Students will be able to use the school computers as
well as any personal internet accessible devices for research and their journal writings in the Google
Docs. The students will also use a digital camera to record their findings when exploring the community
for ecosystems and their habitat. The students will then upload their pictures into the Google Docs to
include in their journal writings. The use of technology will make this project more authentic. The group
structure also creates a student directed environment as well as a collaborative effort.
References and Supporting Material:
Rubrics will be given to students to provide general information about what all should be included. The
students will use Google Docs to create and edit their findings as well as G Class Folders to streamline
their experience.

Jo Williamson, Ph.D., Kennesaw State University