This was quite the project, not only for my students, but for myself as well – A LOT of planning involved, but in the end it was well worth it!
For my grade 4’s Science unit last year, Habitats and Communities, I decided right from the get-go that our culminating project would be tied in with some sort of fundraiser for a habitat-affiliated organization. The one place that stuck out in my mind was the National Wildlife Refuge on Merritt Island in Florida. I travel often to Florida with my family, and I have visited this refuge before. It is a beautiful place. I told my students of this island, showed pictures, and explained to them that it is home to many unique habitats, as well as it has many endangered animals living there. My students were instantly sold and wanted to create a fundraiser for this refuge.
We needed up selling candy grams for Valentine’s Day to raise money for the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Below are pictures of our bulletin board, classroom door, and class decor, all ready to go for our week of sales.
My Grade 4’s individually wrote research reports on 1 of 4 habitats that can be found on Merritt Island. In their reports, they needed to write about their assigned habitat (either ponds, wetlands, coastal dunes, or the ocean) and they needed to talk about the shelter, water, and food that could be found there. They also had to report on what animals lived in their habitat.
In addition to their written research reports, students were put into groups with their peers who researched the same habitat as they did. In their groups, students had to design and create a diorama that displayed their habitat. In their diorama, they needed to include all animals, plants, food, shelter, water, etc. that could be found specifically in their habitat.
I was so proud of all of my students for their hard work put into this project. Our Candy Gram Sales were also a huge hit – we ended up raising almost $200 for the National Wildlife Refuge!
Currently in my Grade 3/4 classroom, we are in the middle of our Habitats unit. We are getting close to starting out culminating projects, which is laid out differently this year and I cannot wait to share the changes! Before a post on the projects though, expect some upcoming posts on some of our lessons and hands-on experiments!