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Living Organisms Digital Scavenger Hunt

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Keywords: digital scavenger hunt
Subject(s): Life Science, Technology
Grades 1 through 5
School: Hyalite Elementary School, Bozeman, MT
Planned By: Christine O'Shea
Original Author: Christine O'Shea, Bozeman
HT.1.0 Technology: Students recognize that students and staff rely on various
forms of technology at school.
(L) Life Science: As a result of the curriculum activities all students begin to develop an understanding of the characteristics of organisms, life cycles and environments of organisms.
LS1.0 Characteristics of Living Things: Students recognize that plants and animals
have basic needs for survival.
LS.2.0 Characteristics of Living Environments: Students recognize that plants and animals exist within interdependent relationships.
LS.3.0 Structure and Function: Students know that plants and animals have distinct
parts and each part is important to the survival of the organism.

Lesson synopsis:

1. Learning goals: Students identify and explore living organisms at a nearby pond and park. Students will understand that living organisms are plants, animals, birds, fish and that they have basic needs in order to survive.
2. This lesson fit into the living organism unit first grade was doing.
3. This lesson was conducted as part of a field trip where students went on a digital scavenger hunt to a nearby park to look for living organisms. Students were given a checklist to use with their adult volunteer/teacher leader to conduct a digital scavenger hunt. Students with the help of their leaders were asked to take photos with their group standing next to the living things they found at the park. This would serve as the formative assessment part of this lesson. Pictures taken were later compiled by the class into a class book.
4. Analysis of student work:

Student A
This student found moss or algae in the pond which was green. We studied and saw moss in class. The student immediately recognized the moss as a plant and knew that it floated in water and would be green. The student learned characteristics of this plant and was able to identify it.

Student B
This student found a seed with points and realized that it gets transported by sticking to us or animals. This student found this seed on the ground and knew it was a seed from a nearby plant. I liked that the student discovered the its transport mechanism.

Student C
This student found a sunflower seed shells and assumed that these must grow there. There were no thoughts of it being left by someone’s lunch on the pond beach. This student did not understand human impact on the environment and that empty seeds could mean human garbage or that an animal had left these behind.

5. Reflection: a. Thinking back on this lesson, I remember that students really wanted to use the cameras we had with us. It would have been great if we had kid-friendly cameras to use for each group or each student. Since we were limited to the cameras the adults had this was not possible. I would like to have these in the future the next time we take such a trip.

b. Students did find living organisms, animal homes, plants etc during the trip that were on the checklist. The evidence I have is the photos taken.
c. I found that letting students discover things on their own without teacher intervention just reinforces the power of self-discovery for students rather than teacher direct instruction.
d. This lesson was such a good demonstration of the explore phase of inquiry. Students were engaged the entire lesson and were excited to be outside like real scientists. This lesson showed me the power of outdoor education and getting away from the classroom even if its only a few blocks away. The outdoors present so many learning opportunities for kids. The kids that are sometimes distracted from learning indoors were in their element outside, very engaged in learning during the lesson activities.
Go back to the park and look for living things in the winter rather than fall to make comparisons.
Materials: Flash/USB Drives, Printers, Microscopes, Digital Cameras
Other Items: 1 digital camera lab, $3000. each, total of $3000.00
1 flip camera lab, $3999. each, total of $3999.00