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Students become nature “reporters” in this outdoor experience that involves detailed investigations of the plants and animals in the local community. A scavenger hunt process actively engages learners in making new discoveries while strengthening science skills in observation, classification and communication. Through the production of a classroom nature guide students are encouraged to think deeply about their observations and appreciate the remarkable biodiversity in their local community.
This resource involves students in an authentic scientific investigation in which they use all of their senses to explore and describe nature. An important aspect of this process is the recording and communication of information which builds English Language Arts writing and vocabulary skills. Visual Arts outcomes are incorporated into the field guide production through student created drawings of plants and animals.
This lesson could be extended through visits to other local habitats such as wetlands or forests to compare and contrast plant and animal species. A class could even participate in a local “Bio Blitz” by working alongside real scientists collecting data in threatened ecosystems like salt marshes. Students could also use their data as the basis for articles in the school newsletter to raise awareness about biodiversity conservation in the local community.
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