Thursday, March 22, 2012

Teaching First Graders Cause and Effect

Mrs. Sally Laha as part of our Festival of Learning on endangered species worked with the First Grade students to research and learn about polar bears. Instead of just looking for knowledge level learning, Sally challenged her students to make connections in their learning to see how certain actions are leading to very negative effects in the lives of polar bears. To communicate their learning the students drew pictures depicting several of the effects which were then organized into a flow chart displayed in the hallway.

Here are photographs of the display. The students did an outstanding job in making their thinking and learning visible.

Our hunting results in fewer polar bears > Fossil fuel pollution causes trapped greenhouse gases > Trapped greenhouse gases speed up global warming

Global warming causes the ice to melt > Less time for hunting seals means lower weight of bears > Lower weight of female bears means smaller and fewer cubs

Smaller cubs have a hard time surviving the Arctic cold > Fewer surviving cubs means less adult bears > Less adult bears means fewer baby bears > Fewer baby bears means less adult bears > Eventually no more polar bears in the wild

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