Grade Three Learns About Endangered Animals – And Are Moved To Action

Pangyo campus grade three students are learning about endangered animals and their habitats, and what we can do to help save endangered animals from extinction. Each student chose an endangered animal to learn about such as polar bears, pandas, tigers, whales and rhinos.

3TDUprintmaking5The grade three teaching team developed a transdisciplinary unit (TDU) to explore endangered animals. The TDU means students can expect to learn about endangered animals and related questions or issues in each of their classes. For example, during a science lesson with Mr. Jacobsen, students learned about the life cycle, inherited and acquired traits, and behavioral characteristics of their different endangered animals. After learning about changing habitats in classroom Reading & Writing workshop, students used Scratch to create ideal sanctuaries for their endangered animals in Ms. Godek’s technology class. Below, students apply what they’ve learned about their endangered animals to continue designing and begin constructing sanctuaries.

3TDUprintmaking12The transdisciplinary approach makes a student’s learning experience fluid. What she or he learns about selective breeding to save a species might become a component of her or his planned sanctuary. Or maybe a connection is made to other ways environmental organizations are helping endangered animals, like by cleaning up a beach in India so sea turtles can nest safely. The transdisciplinary approach is such a deep, rich way to learn a topic.

This year, grade three students decided to find a way to help the endangered animals they are studying. Taking a cue from Andy Warhol, students will sell art prints of the animals and use the money raised to adopt endangered animals through World Wildlife Fund. In art class, Mrs. Bycraft encourages bold color choices, like Warhol. Take a look at the printing process below!

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Thank you grade three TDU team for sharing your current work! Sarah Donaldson, Sally Merriman, Jon Barry and Stacy Trinh are classroom teachers. Specialty teachers involved are Jeremy Jacobsen, KoLAB; David Lee, Design; Megan Godek, Technology; Marsha Bycraft, Art; and Megan Greene, Library.

Take a look at follow up posts covering the grade three TDU: Hear more from grade three students about their learning. Read as two teachers reflect on the TDU process. And see how the art expo went (spoiler: great)!

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