Students in Mrs. McKay’s 7th grade science class had the opportunity to guide their own learning this year when working on the topic of animal behavior and habitat. What started as a quick visit to the fish tank in the Central Registration Office led to a student directed, interest-based learning unit. Students began an inquiry-based unit that involved completing observation/inference journals on the aquatic life in the aquarium. With each visit, students developed new questions and then returned to the classroom to seek the answers through student led research. Research points included learning about the mating behavior of different types of fish, territorial behavior of fish and the differences in fish species. Students then shared their discoveries with one another and their teacher too! In addition to the observation logs, students created their own bottle aquariums that included soil, plants, water and fish. The student aquarium activity allowed students to link their interest in aquatic life to a unit on habitat. They were able to see first-hand the connections in our environment and the delicate balance between our water, soil, plant and animal life. Mrs. McKay and her students would like to thank the staff in the curriculum office for the opportunity to “dive” right into their learning this year!
Written by: Emily McKay