ERIC Number: EJ1037391
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jul
Reference Count: 5
It's a Zoo out There!
Gillan, Amy Larrison; Hebert, Terri
Science and Children, v51 n9 p59-65 Jul 2014
The People Learning Urban Science (PLUS) program creates partnerships and coordinates efforts involving a local zoo, university, and school district, seeking to instill within students a sense of the natural environment. Even though the majority of students live among concrete and metal structures, their eyes and ears can be trained to make careful observations of nature. Encouraging this collaboration between formal and informal science by partnering with community members via the PLUS program, teachers may extend the classroom learning beyond the four walls and heighten their students' scientific knowledge and skills. This article describes how a typical field trip to the local zoo is suddenly transformed into an exercise in authentic inquiry. The classroom teacher, local zoo curator, a PLUS partner university biologist, and the PLUS program coordinator have designed and together implement an experience that addresses the fourth-grade performance expectation 4-LS1-1 of the "Next Generation Science Standards" ("NGSS)" recognizing that students are expected to "construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction" (NGSS Lead States 2013, p. 38). The PLUS Program includes the local zoo curator who serves as one of the community partners in the design and implementation of the fourth-grade ethogram activity (Table 1). Two Common Core State Standards for fourth grade language arts are also addressed in this lesson.
Descriptors: Partnerships in Education, Zoology, College School Cooperation, Outdoor Education, Field Trips, Informal Education, Inquiry, Grade 4, Learning Experience, School Community Programs, Learning Activities, Animal Behavior, Cooperative Planning, Science Education, Program Descriptions
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.nsta.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A