First Grade, Lesson 1: Knowing the Essential Elements of a Habitat

First Grade, Lesson 1: Knowing the Essential Elements of a Habitat

Concept 

Children will become acquainted with the landscape characteristics of their play space, their neighborhood and their classroom in order to better relate to the Belize landscape

Essential Question 

What sounds does your neighborhood make?

Step 1 -- Connect (The Concept to Prior Knowledge)

Step 1

Challenge

Students will capture the essence of the landscape surrounding their school on a map that identifies sensory and landscape information.

Materials

- 8.5" x 11" outline/map of the area around the school (one per student; prepared by teacher)
- One larger replica of school area map
- Art supplies

Procedure

  1. Students will be handed a rough outline of the area around their school. They will be oriented to the map by discussing experiences different students might have had walking or playing in those spaces.
  2. Students will take the maps outside and add descriptive information to the rough outline. These observations should include plants (drawings), rocks, dirt areas, random items in the landscape, smells, sounds and temperature changes. Each child will fill in what they think is important.
  3. Inside the classroom on a large replica of the map of the schoolyard, the teacher will collect and transfer the observations using symbols for common landscape elements, drawings cut from maps and words to describe sensory elements. The class will decorate this map so that it represents their school landscape.

Step 2 -- Literature/Discuss (Give Expert Information Book; Ask Questions)

Challenge

Students will begin to see their play space and school as a multi-textured landscape.

Materials

- Book: Welcome to the Green House by Jane Yolen

Procedure

Visualization: Ask the children to close their eyes and listen as you read Welcome to the Green House by Jane Yolen. Ask them to pay special attention to the sounds and visual pictures that are created in their minds by this book.

Step 3A -- Practice (Math and Learning Centers)

Challenge

Students will compare and contrast the map of their schoolyard with different maps that slowly move out in distance encompassing a greater area.

Materials

- Local, national and world maps

Procedure

  1. As in the Powers of Ten, introduce students to maps that locate their schoolyard within different geographies that are local first and gradually geographically further away.
  2. Students carry out a variety of interesting calculations in order to establish the area/dimensions of their playspace/schoolyard in relationship to the city/state they are in.
  3. Looking at their own map of the schoolyard, ask students to guess at how to measure their schoolyard and relate how large it is in comparison to their neighborhood, city/town, state and/or country.

Step 3B -- Create (Performance Tasks Related to Standard Indicators)

Challenge

Students will write a short 'impression' poem. (This can be a haiku that captures the essence of the 'sitting' place.)

Materials

- Paper, pencils
- Maps from Step 1

Procedure

  1. Students return to a place that interested them outside around the building. Students write a short poem about this place that uses sensory images, landmarks, weather observations, sounds, etc.
  2. The poems will be transferred to the map corresponding to the location in the schoolyard.

Step 4 -- Present

Challenge

Students read their poetry aloud to the class.

The Rainforest Alliance curricula is unique in that it teaches language arts, math, science, social studies and the arts while addressing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and mathematics. Our multidisciplinary curricula present information on forests, biodiversity, local communities and sustainable practices. Lessons provide a global perspective on the importance of protecting the world's natural resources, locally and globally, while giving students opportunities for direct action.

To help teachers seamlessly integrate our resources into their lesson plans, we have correlated our kindergarten through 8th grade and climate curriculum guides to the Common Core State Standards for both English language arts and mathematics. Please feel free to use these correlations to help guide you through these lessons, as well to help you identify extensions and adaptations to advance your work.

The Rainforest Alliance can help your school district incorporate local standards and closely align our curricula with the educational mandates in your region.

In addition to the above standards, the education program seeks to advance alignment opportunities with the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development; National Education for Sustainability (K-12) Student Learning Standards.

For any further inquiries, please contact us at education@ra.org.

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