By Gabriella de la Luz Gómez Reynoso, grade 3 student.
During the second Unit of Inquiry of grade 3, "How the World Works", students were asked to research an animal of their choosing. They were taught how to conduct research using both text and appropriate internet sources. They learned about key words and hunting for the answers to their questions. Students had to answer four main questions by the end of their research cycle.
- What habitat does your animal live in?
- What adaptations help your animal survive in their habitat?
- Is it a solitary or social creature? (Does it live alone or in groups?)
- Any other fun or interesting facts about their animals that they find.
Students then created a poster that they presented to the rest of the class with the information they learned, and depicting their animal and its environment. The whole inquiry cycle lasted about six weeks and was mostly student-driven with very little teacher guidance.
Below you will find an example from Gabriella Gómez's research on polar bears, from Ms. Leslie Rodríguez's 3C classroom in the Lower School.
If you want to learn about polar bears you are in the right spot! I’m going to tell you about cool polar bear facts that you have been wondering about.
Polar bears live solitary and in a group. It’s a little bit of a mix but they live solitary when they don’t have a mom or dad to take care of them anymore, and they live in a group when they have a cub or find a mate.
Polar bears live in countries near the arctic circle. They live near the arctic circle because it is cold and they adapt very well to the cold environment. Polar bears need to live near the arctic circle because if they live in the desert, they will die because they will not adapt well to the weather.
Polar bears also live in the arctic because they camouflage really well, because their fur is white and most of the landscape in the arctic is white.
A polar bear’s adaptation is having white fur. This helps the polar bear camouflage in the arctic because it blends in with the landscape. Polar bears are kept warm by their blubber/fat to survive the freezing cold arctic. If they didn’t have blubber, they would be freezing cold in the arctic, like us humans. Polar bears have pads on their feet, so the polar bears don’t slip on the slippery ice. This is how polar bears adapt to their environment.
Polar bears are known to live solitary lives as well as in groups. A polar bear lives solitary when they have no parent to guide them. When polar bears live in groups it’s typically when they are not independent and they can’t live alone. When a mom’s little polar bear cub can’t live alone or the cub gets lost, it’s defenseless and could be eaten by a polar bear predator. Most polar bear cubs live in groups with their parents for survival and until they learn how to be independent.
Polar bears are being affected by global warming. Polar bears have strong neck and leg muscles to swim better. Polar bears have up to 34-42 teeth.