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Monarchs, Weather & Whooping Cranes/Grade3/Maryland

Frances Koontz
Grade 3
Rockledge Elementary School
Bowie, MD

Your program is a major part of my curriculum. Our study of monarch butterflies has been very exciting for my students. We have a year long bulletin board that built as the year progressed. We posted our predictions for the monarch return, copies of the pictures you supplied of the people who live near the Mexican habitat, pictures and drawings of the life cycle of the monarch, and maps of migration routes. We had a debate about your challenge question on the people who live near the habitat and how we in the United States should help save this region.

We gathered a lot of data about temperature and weather patterns. We are still taking daily temperature readings of soil and air and monitoring daily weather conditions. I use this in math to put this information into charts and graphs. We also then compare our information with data from the newspaper.

  • I think my third graders really understand natural cycles from studying the tulips, butterflies and whooping cranes. This understanding comes through in their writing.
  • Because this project is real and happening now I am excited about it and, therefore, my students become excited, too. I would like to see a more dependable way to link my class to another third grade class in another part of the country. I realize you have no control over this but, perhaps more reminders or incentives in the program could encourage this component.
  • We took a field trip to the Patuxent Wildlife Center in the fall to see their display on whooping cranes. This is a major center for the study and preservation of the whooping cranes. We talked to the naturalist about the work they do with raising the cranes. We also followed the news articles about the cranes that were trained to follow the planes.
  • I could use more information written for younger students. I edited information or interpreted as we used data and information.
  • The improvement needs to come from our end. We have to go to a lab to access your information. I would love to have the access in my classroom. I know we would extend the project with that capability.
  • Your program helps my students feel like real scientists. Thank you for providing exciting learning for third graders in Maryland.

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