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Students work collaboratively here to create ecosystem concept maps using Kidspiration software

Subjects:

Language Arts, Science, Social Studies  

Grade:

4  

Title – Ecosystem Review with Kidspiration
By – Daphna Cohen
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies, Language Arts,
Grade Level – 4

Content:

  • Students will review what they learned about ecosystems and the important role they play.
  • Students will also practice using Kidspiration software as they create concept maps relating to ecosystems.

Benchmarks:

  • L.EC.04.11 – Identify organisms as part of a food chain or food web.
  • L.EC.04.21 – Explain how environmental changes can produce a change in the food web.

Learning Resources and Materials:

  • Computers (enough for 2 students per computer)
  • Kidspiration software on each computer
  • Whiteboard/Chalkboard
  • Dry Erase Markers/Chalk

Development of Lesson:

  • Introduction:
    • Review key facts that the students have been learning about ecosystems, including the following:
      1. Ecosystems are made of living and nonliving things.
      2. Some examples of ecosystems are lakes, forests, and ponds.
      3. All parts of the ecosystem affect each other.
      4. If one part of the ecosystem is damaged, the other parts will also be harmed.
  • Methods/Procedures:
    • Methods:
      • This lesson promotes creativity, organization, and analysis as the students create a concept map based on the new information they learned about ecosystems.
      • The students also plan and collaborate with each other as they work in pairs to complete the activity.
      • In addition, students use Kidspiration software to create their concept maps.
    • Procedure:
      1. Divide students into partners so that each pair of students is working at one computer station.
      2. Instruct students to use Kidspiration’s picture view to create a concept map showing at least three major points they have learned about ecosystems. Each major point must have at least three supporting details.
      3. Tell students to switch to the writing view to elaborate on their concept map by writing at least one descriptive sentence for each of their supporting details.
      4. As the students work on their concept maps, visit each pair of students to observe their progress, check for understanding, and offer suggestions and help as needed.
    • Accommodations/Adaptations:
      • Students work in partners, so students who have reading, writing, organizational, or any other challenges can be paired with students who are strong in these areas.
      • All students have access to the option on Kidspiration in which the icons can be read aloud to the user.
    • Assessment/Evaluation:
      • Student understanding is evaluated informally through observation and a small discussion with each pair as the students work on the activity.
      • The concept maps and writing view outlines are turned in and used as a formal assessment.
    • Closure:
      • As a class, create a concept map on ecosystems on the board.
      • Give each pair of students the chance to share one point from their own map to be included on the class concept map.

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