Schools and Community
Fossils Tell of Earth's Changes
The Secret World of Pollination
Providing for Pollinators
In this module, students build their literacy and citizenship skills as they engage in a study of schools. Students begin by exploring the module-guiding question—“What is school, and why are schools important?”—through a variety of literary and nonfiction texts about schools. Students then build on this understanding by learning about schools around the world and the challenges some communities face in sending their students to school and how they solve these challenges. This leads students to consider the similarities and differences between their own school and some of the schools they have read about. They use their learning to produce an informational book detailing these similarities and differences, and what makes school important overall in a short book titled “The Most Important Thing about Schools.”
In this module, students build their literacy and science skills as they engage in a study of fossils. Students begin the module by exploring the guiding question: “What do paleontologists do?” Students learn about Mary Anning, a famous fossil hunter. Students are introduced to the skill of answering selected response questions in this module and are taught how to read and answer questions in this format. Students then build knowledge about fossils and how they are formed in order to learn more deeply about how fossils show evidence of the changes that have occurred on earth over time. Finally, they take on the role of author as they create an illustrated narrative about a paleontologist discovering a fossil.
In this module, students build their research skills and science knowledge through a study of plants and pollinators. They discover this “the secret world” of plants and pollinators by first building their knowledge of plants, their needs, and their life cycle through reading, observing, conducting experiments, and discussing their findings. Students then move on to research the role of insect pollinators in helping plants grow and survive. Their research skills are built through both whole group and supported small group research on insect pollinators. They use their research notes to write an informative piece about a specific insect pollinator and its role in the pollination process. Finally, they extend and apply their understanding of pollination and pollinators through the preparation of a poster and an oral presentation of their learning about the “secret world of plants and pollinators.”
In this module, students build on their scientific knowledge of pollinators from Module 3, to consider how they can contribute to the protection these important creatures in their own community. Students begin by exploring what it means to contribute to a community by reading folktales and fables featuring fictional pollinator characters. They analyze how these characters overcome challenges and contribute to a better world. They then move on to study the dangers facing two real pollinators: bats and butterflies. Using informational texts, students hone their research skills as they learn to form an opinion based on evidence in a text. Students then write an opinion piece about why people should protect butterflies. Finally, students contribute to the protection of butterflies in their own community by creating a wildflower seed packet with original artwork and writing. The seed packet includes a high-quality scientific drawing, a polished written piece that explains the reasons butterflies should be protected, and a call to action for protecting butterflies through planting native wild flowers. Students present their performance task, along with a reflection on their work and learning, in a culminating celebration.