Friday, May 10, 2019

Zoology II, Week 2: Black Bear, Red Fox

Here are some notes from our second week of Zoology II.

Monday, May 6

Tuesday, May 7

  • read remainder of chapter 1, "The Chisel-Tooth Tribe in General," from The Chisel-Tooth Tribe
  • decide to study the word < rodent > in SWI
  • have students choose rodent and begin to rough draft information (The Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals)

  • do watercolor painting of Harvest Mouse
  • introduce the Cardiovascular System animals, ie. the carnivores
  • read chapter XXXII, "Buster Bear Nearly Breaks Up School," from The Burgess Animal Book for Children (1931) by Thornton W. Burgess (this book is in the public domain and you can listen to it on Librivox)

Thursday, May 9

Friday, May 10


  • examine the word < rodent > in SWI
    This was very interesting and will get its own special blog post!


Out of all of our main lesson topics this year, the Zoology blocks have been the best for helping the children gain research skills. I have given them many resources -- and we love the Princeton animal encyclopedias -- and I have encouraged additional research beyond the stories that I read them.

Using a paper resource to look up information is really important and in my classroom we never use the internet unless we simply cannot find the information anywhere else. I encourage you to have a dictionary, a thesaurus, a set of encyclopedias, an atlas, and a globe at home!!!!

Encyclopedias and many other nonfiction texts require the students to become comfortable using an index! This is a rather sophisticated skill, especially when there is more than one index. The process of research also supports alphabetizing skills, reading nonfiction text including charts and graphs and diagrams, taking notes, summarizing information, and avoiding plagiarism by putting information in your own words. It's also important when researching to make sure you are considering the reliablility of your source, and that you can synthesize information from multiple sources.

I allow all kinds of written content, from bullet point lists to complete sentences and full paragraphs. Since the blank nature of the MLB allows the students to design their own two page spreads, they can also create graphic organizers as needed to share their information. T-charts and Venn diagrams are especially useful. The book making process in Waldorf also means we talk constantly about whether the information is presented clearly to their reader (captions for illustrations, etc.). All of this familiarity with using nonfiction text -- and writing their own nonfiction texts -- will serve them well in high school and beyond!

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