Investigating Nature: Science Connections

Our 4th grade students were exhausted after a busy day at the Poudre Learning Center. We began our day investigating insects and discussing the stages of growth and development of various grassland insects.

Next, we investigated aquatic macro-invertebrates and learned how to classify the various tiny creatures based on individual characteristics.

After studying the tiny water creatures, we explored the riparian habitat along the Cache la Poudre River.  Our walk was fascinating as we recognized both living and non-living and the ways they connect in nature.

 

As you can imagine, our students were thrilled to eat lunch next.

During lunch we enjoyed an amazing bird show as a Bald Eagle flew above our picnic area for about five minutes.  After we cleaned up our picnic area, we walked to the bird viewing area near the lake.

After lunch we had the unique opportunity to use telescopes and binoculars while participating in bird watching.

The most exciting part was looking through the telescope to see the giant bald eagle nest with “Mama Eagle” and eaglets in the nest. How special to have eagles living near us in Northern Colorado. In fact, about a month ago, during a fire drill this school year, while standing on the football field, our students spotted two bald eagles.  They are a magnificent group of students with observation skills of real scientists in nature.

Our time at the Poudre Learning Center ended with a fun food web game.  Our class used their math skills to calculate the exact number of “pretend” grasshoppers, frogs and hawks we could release into our ecosystem and sustain life.  Students pretended to be these creatures.  On our third attempt at the game we solved the exact number necessary for optimal survival. Since we were the last class of the day, our leader from the Poudre Learning Center shared with us that we were the only group of students who were able to experiment with the numbers and solve the game accurately.  Once again, I am beyond impressed with our students and their group problem solving skills.

Upon returning to school we were greeted by Sergeant Major Daniel Daly.  Reagan, a 4th grade student from our class went to Centennial Village today and participated in Chautauqua.  Students from dozens of schools in our area participated in this event in which an individual studies a historical figure and then becomes this historic person.  We had two other participants from our elementary school; acting as Helen Keller and Laura Ingalls Wilder.   Students may begin participating in 4th grade and continue being a part of Chautauqua during middle school and high school.  Your child might want to participate next school year during 5th grade.

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