Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Surrey Nature Centre

Last week we went on a field trip to the Surrey Nature Centre in Green Timbers Park.  We have been learning about plant and animal adaptations and food chains in Science, so this program fit right in.  It was POURING rain the entire day, but luckily Division 9 students are real troopers and we still had fun and learned a lot!  

First we went out into the forest to play a game called "Surviving the Food Chain."  Each person in the class was given a role:  squirrel, raccoon or coyote, and a number of "life cards".  All animals had to collect hidden symbols in the forest that represented food, water and shelter (the basic needs of all animals).  At the same time, the squirrels also had to watch out for their predators: the raccoons and the coyotes.  The raccoons needed to be on the look out for coyotes too because the  coyotes are also their predators.  If you were tagged by one of your predators, you had to give them one of your "life cards".  The coyotes could have one of their lives taken away by destruction or humans (played by a parent and Ms. Birdsall).  In order to survive the game, you needed to keep at least one life, and collect enough food, water and shelter symbols.  It was such a fun, fast-paced game, we didn't even mind getting soggy! 

Our leader, Sue, explaining the  forest boundaries.
The coyotes are coming to get you; watch out squirrels and raccoons! 
What a friendly looking raccoon!

We still have our lives!
Hiding in the bushes is a good survival strategy!
So is sticking to the outside boundaries.

 After warming up a bit inside, and having some lunch, it was time for our second activity, "Making a Dream Habitat." For this activity students were divided into groups of four.  Each group was assigned a different forest animal and given a fact card about that animal's habitat, food, shelter and adaptations.  Our task was to represent this information using things found in nature.  Here are some pictures of us reading about our animals.

When we had read the information and brainstormed some ideas we headed back out into the forest (and the rain!) to create our representations.


At the end, each group presented the imaginative ways they had represented the animal's needs using natural objects.

Overall, it was a wet, but wonderful day out in nature!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

BC Hydro Community Champions Workshop

On Friday, I got the opportunity to take six students to a special B.C. Hydro school program about their Community Champions initiative. The students wrote letters of application to be chosen, and they were very excited to go!  There were four schools participating in the workshop, which was held at another school.

The first activity we did was an icebreaker where we went around and introduced ourselves to three new people and told them two things we did to help the environment. When we got back to our group, we created a poster of all the ideas we heard. Next, we went on a gallery walk of all of the posters and voted for our favourite ideas.

Next, our presenter, Wendy, explained a bit more about the Community Champions program. Fifteen non-profit environmental organizations each produced a two-minute video about their work. The public can watch the videos and vote for their favourites (Just click on the link above to go to the site and vote for yourself!). The five organizations with the most votes by the December 7 deadline each win a $10 000 prize to help them achieve their goals.
This is where schools come in. Classes can watch the videos and vote for their favourite organization. When a class votes, they can also submit a proposal for their own environmental conservation project. If chosen, the class can win $1000 to help fund their idea - so cool! (Guess what we'll be working on in the next couple of weeks?!?)

After we heard about the program, each group was given one of four words: community, champion, sustainability, conservation. We got "community", and we had to create a brainstorm web of what this words means to us. Then we presented our web to the rest of the groups.
Our final activity was to create a way of presenting the information we had learned that we could show the rest of our classmates. Our group chose to create a skit and we will be presenting it to the class this week.

Overall, it was an informative and fun morning. I was so proud of my students. They were active, enthusiastic participants, and did a great job representing our class and school. Now I can't wait for us to watch the videos and start brainstorming our own project proposal!

Friday, 2 November 2012


We had a fun-filled day on Halloween doing lots of special activities.  Check out our video below to see what we were up to!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Animal Adaptation Stations

We are continuing our study of animal adaptations in Science.  Earlier this week, we spent the afternoon rotating through several stations that model how different animals meet their basic needs.  Here are some of the adaptations we learned about:

How a pelican holds fish in its gullet

How Tokay geckos use their special adapted feet to climb smooth surfaces

How an addax antelope uses its white coloration to keep cool in hot temperatures

How a white ibis probes for worms

 How a toco toucan plucks fruit from trees

How an American crocodile has a more streamline nose than the alligator to search for aquatic prey

How an East African Crowned crane picks insects from leaves and logs

How a goat uses its dense wooly undercoat in cold temperatures (one glove was stuffed with cotton balls)

How a roseate spoonbill scoops fish out of water

How a rainbow lorikeet sips nectar

What are some amazing animal adaptations that you know?  Do you have a favourite?