Monday, January 31, 2011

Curriculum Corner: 6th Grade and Elephants

Our 6th graders are beginning a project which will cross over their science, composition, and social studies classes. They are partnering with the American School in Douala, Cameroon and Phoenix School in Salem, Massachusetts to study the plight of elephants in Cameroon.

Cynthia Nielsen, Karen Niegelsky, and Carolyn Lamkins have brought Dr. Mark Macalister and Dr. Mike Loomis, North Carolina Zoological veterinarians and field biologists from our own backyard at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, on as experts to work with our students.

Students from all three schools will study the environmental, sustainability, and specie issues surrounding the elephants’ habitat and compare notes on how they might try and solve the problems these elephants encounter as a result of human encroachment.

Canterbury’s 6th grade will be following Dr. Loomis via Google Earth and GPS as he follows the elephants on their migration and tags them for data collection. Students will then be able to work with the data Dr. Loomis collects, collaborate with students in Cameroon and Massachusetts via Skype, and visit with Dr. Loomis and Dr. Macalister in Asheboro to review their solutions.

This is an excellent example of the innovative approach to 21st Century learning, which incorporates creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis.

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