PBL ~ All About African Animals!
One of our primary learning goals for our spring African Animals project is to help our students develop strong collaboration skills.
We want them to head off to first grade really understanding what working together looks and sounds and feels like.
Last week, I presented the collaboration rubric that we will be using throughout the project :
The students had their first chance to work collaboratively as a group to put together a challenging 100-piece puzzle of the African Savanna. After working as a team to complete the task, the groups were asked to use our thumb system to assess how they did following directions, making and completing a plan, and taking turns. The groups then reflected on what they did well and what they could do even better next time.
We then used this same rubric to guide a collaborative made-up animal project that we did in our literacy groups. Students took everything they have learned about the structures and functions of animals from our last science unit, Animals 2x2, and planned and then created their own made-up animal out of real animal parts. After creating their creature, each group took some time to assess their work and reflect on what went well and what could go better. We will use this assessment and reflection process throughout this project to help our students strengthen these important collaborative group work behaviors.
This coming week, students we will continue to learn about life on the savanna from books, photos, videos and stories. We will continue to read sections of the book, "Facing the Lion" (an inside look at growing up Maasai on the African Savanna) and will have a chance to meet Moses Masala, who is visiting Seattle this week from Dwankhozi School in rural Zambia.
To continue to prepare the students for working in collaborative groups, we will introduce the students to the group roles they will be using in their collaborative groups next week (shown below).
We will practice using these roles to create collaborative savannas. Stay tuned!