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Draw That Habitat

What it is: I am a fan of everything PBS does, recently I ran across this gem while looking for some activities that help students learn about habitats.  Draw that Habitat is SO much more engaging than most of the “match the animal to the correct habitat” lower level thinking “games” (if you can call them that) that are out there.  In Draw that Habitat, students are introduced to imaginary animals.  They are briefed on the animal and its needs and are then given drawing tools to create a habitat.  Each month a new imaginary animal is introduced. This month’s challenge is an animal called a Flarch.  During the activity students learn that a habitat is a place that an animal lives where they get food and water, find shelter, search for a mate, and raise babies.  Students are asked to think about how and where the imaginary animal gets food and water, where it keeps safe from weather and other animals, etc.  What I love about this activity is that it calls on student’s creativity and imaginations.  They are asked to come up with a solution for an imaginary animal and in the process learn about habitats, camouflage, and adaptation.  When students are finished with their habitat, they can share it with other students and view and rate the habitats that others have created. How to integrate Draw That Habitat into the classroom: Draw that Habitat is a great little activity for primary students who are learning about habitats, camouflage, and adaptations. It is probably best to use Draw that Habitat after students have a general understanding of what a habitat is.  This is a place where they can solidify that understanding and expand on what they have learned by creating something new.  I like the abstract nature of the activity, they aren’t creating a habitat for a known, real animal; instead, students are coming up with new solutions based on some key information they are given.  This gives students a chance to think critically, problem solve, and use some creativity and imagination. In a one to one setting where each student has access to a computer, each student can create a habitat for the month’s challenge.  When students are finished, have a class parade, where students walk through and view the different solutions that classmates came up with.  Students can explain why they made the choices they did and see what other solutions might work. In a one or two computer classroom, students can visit Draw that Habitat as a learning center in small groups.  Students at the learning center can each contribute to the habitat. If you don’t have access to computers for students to visit, create a class habitat using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computers.  Each student in the class can add to the habitat and describe how their contribution is important for the animal who lives in the habitat. As an extension activity, students can write a story about the imaginary animal and its habitat. This site is intended for younger students (early elementary), but don’t discount it’s usefulness in upper-grades.  I find that when drawing-coloring are involved, students of all ages get excited about it- I have had 6th graders jump on this site and have a great time creating a habitat (they were jealous the younger kids got to do the activity and they didn’t- reminding me once again that kids like opportunities to play and be creative!). Tips: Students can save the habitat they create offline as a .jpg file.  Click the “save” button to download. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Draw that Habitat in your classroom!

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Winter Olympic Shidonni Lesson

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Fun & Games, inspiration, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 16-02-2010

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What it is: The Winter Olympics is here!  There is so much learning to be done.  In my computer lab, my students will be completing the following assignment using Shidonni and various Olympic websites for research.  I have created a Weebly site as a research landing page for students.


Please leave a comment and share how you are using the Winter Olympics 2010 as a learning event in your classroom.

Comments (15)

Is there a web page (url), Where we can see the students results?

I love this project! The kids must really love researching this at the same time it’s happening in real life.

What an excellent and attractive unit on the Winter Olympics. Well done. I had not seen weebly before, but I am impressed!

I created a collaborative project with several participation options. We have 38 classes in five countries registered. Check out the website to view our gallery (still a work in progress).

oops, I thought the url would be included. Here is is: http://sites.google.com/site/misschatz

Hi Nicole, see the lesson extension section, we are doing this as part of your collaborative project. My students are so excited about it. We are participating in project #3 :o)

Judith, Weebly is an easy way to make websites quickly. I also usually use either Weebly or Wix with students to create their own websites.

Yes, students are loving it. Second graders wrote a lot today about their favorite part of the Olympics. I was so impressed!

Right now the students are still working out the lesson. When we are finished, we will be collecting the pages that the students created and posting as a slide show, I will embed it here.

Our students used the Olympics to work on researching facts, paraphrasing, and creating a bibliography of websites they visited for facts and photos. They published a poster on one USA Olympic athlete using Comic Life. Thanks for all the great links!! We used http://www.NBColympics.com the most.

Kelly,
Great use of Issuu on that clean looking lesson plan on the Olympics! I had students just this week begging for a lesson about the Olympics – no joke! This Tuesday during computer lab, I’m going to set them loose on your Weebly (which I’ve never knew about until now- thanks!). Thanks for the resource.

Buzz Garwood

Have fun! My kids will just be starting the lesson next week, too. I am excited to do it with them, I think they are going to love it.

I love the idea of making a poster of an athlete in Comic Life, sounds like fun!

Do you have any examples of the completed projects in Shidonni? If so can you post them.

Not yet but we are making a slide show with our finished Shidonni drawings. I will post it here when we are finished!

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