First and second grade crew studied how communities interact through the lens of ants. Since both humans and ants live in social communities, the guiding question was “What do ants and humans have in common?” The students explored this idea using expert texts, videos, and their own observations of ant hills. By comparing resources students were able to use critical thinking skills to infer the commonalities of these different communities. One of the big ideas that emerged was that all communities have a common location with all members having important roles.
The students then moved to a case study of maps as a way of communicating habitat structures and the functional roles of the community members. Expert texts were consulted to create anchor charts identifying map features, the physical features, and community roles within an anthill. Students created a criteria list which guided their collaborative work. Throughout the process, students learned how to present their ideas in a respectful, collaborative environment, use clear statements, and clarification when necessary. Through peer analysis, students were able to assess their own work and that of others by discussing what is visually effective. The use of peer feedback led to multiple drafts to produce high-quality case study projects.
Students were able to recount their experience by presenting their maps at the school “Celebration of Learning Event." This gave them the ability to clearly express their learnings to an audience vested in their education.
How This Project Can Be Useful
- Excellent example of a product through which students can demonstrate and communicate their learning
- Covers multiple disciplines and standards, including Common Core Literacy Standards, and the 2nd Grade CO Standards of Social Studies, Science, and Fine Arts
- Shows use of multiple drafts with peer critique/reflection resulting in models students can use to guide their work
Common Core State Standards
|Standard||Long Term Learning Target|
- Colorado Standards: SS.2.2.1; SS.4.2.1e; SC.2.2.1a,b; SC.2.2.2.b; FA.2.2.VA.1