Grade Six Example (this is an overview that may be shared, changed, modified)

Big Ideas:

How is the balance and biodiversity of plants and animals important for the survival of earth?How can humans preserve the biodiversity of plants and animals?

Diagnostic Assessment used:

Students were provided a short non-fiction text that discussed the classification of animals, plants and an overview of their balance on this earth.Students were also asked to view an image that showed a small fish being eaten by larger fish over and over.Students were asked to infer from the image. See image here
Rubric for Diagnostic Assessment
My biggest finding from the diagnostic assessment was most of my students were having difficulty infering from the text they read. They were not synthesizing the information which resulted in much difficulty with connecting the ideas in the text to their own lives. They did not see the bigger picture of the text, the point of the story.
I also noticed that many of my students had difficulty writing their answers in an organized, relevant manner which told me that I had to do a lot more work with writing responses as well as use other writing mediums such as a word processor or Livescribe.

Curriculum/Standards Addressed (Include Level)

Science and Language:
Students will assess human impacts on biodiversity, and identify ways of preserving biodiversity; students will investigate the characteristics
of living things and classify diverse organisms;
Students will demonstrate understanding of biodiversity
and its contributions to the stability of natural systems and benefits of humans

Resources Used:

Teacher Account to EduGlogster (Click Here for Information) You will be able to create student accounts.
- Teacher Account to Diigo – online bookmarking, highlighting, stickynote tool (Here)
- Teacher Account to Wallwisher (Here)
- Teacher Account for Voice Thread (Here)
- Teacher Account for Page Flakes (Here)
- Teacher Account for Google Docs or other program to allow on-line FORMS.
Text/Video Resources:
- Discovery Education Streaming – Understanding Biodiversity Video
- Discovery Education Streaming – Threats to Biodiversity – Why we should care
- Discovery Education Streaming – Classification of Living Things
- Discovery Education Streaming – Concepts of Nature- Animal Predators and the Balance of Nature - Discovery Education Streaming – [[file://localhost/The Mammal Story/ Vertibrae Kingdom http/|The Mammal Story]]
- Internet Source: Biodiversity 911
- Interactive Game: Built for the Kill (Deconstructing the world’s deadliest predators)
- National Geographic Video
- National Geographic Articles/Animals
- Photography: Photo of the Day

Culminating Activity:

- After a variety of lessons about research, finding important information, documentation, summarizing in reading, inferring and making judgments, students were required to create a Poster using Mindmeister about one animal.

Comments, Suggestions, Reflections:

I found that the culminating unit was much more rich of a task then in previous tasks. Students were excited to post on their blogs (examples). Students were also given the opportunity to compare their diagnostic tasks with their final task and assessment and were thrilled that they could measure their own learning. As well, the Big Idea, which was posted in the classroom and on my blog, provided a constant reminder and focus for the students throughout the unit. Eventually, students created Science Fiction stories based on the Big Idea (example of a science fiction based on the Manatee)

Name and Contact Information:

Zoe Branigan-Pipe
Lawfield Elementary School (Hamilton, Ontario)