This week Year 6/7 students finished their threatened species project. Each of the following Victorian species is declining in numbers due to habitat loss, introduced species, pest plants, pollution and/or overkill.
It would be great if you could use Blabberize or Voicethread to give your animal a voice! Please leave a comment about which slideshow you like best, and what you might do differently if you did this project again.
This week in Year 8 Science you will continue with your project on Invasive Pests. If you go to the Invasive Pests page of our wiki “Extraordinary Animals” you will find the names of all the pest species, linked to a page where you can post your work. The first task is to add an image of your pest and describe it’s appearance, behaviour and distribution. Make sure your images are Creative Commons – copyright free. Flickr is a great place to start looking for images. Each page has links to further information, but add your own links if you have found information form other sources. You can find some more images at the Rogue’s Gallery or the image gallery at Feral.org.au.
This week we are studying how living organisms are identified and classified into groups. We have learnt about the five kingdoms of organisms (Animals, Plants, Fungi, Protists and Monera) and we are familiar with the five main classes of vertebrates (Birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish). We will learn a little more about the invertebrates, which make up about 97% of all living things and we will construct a dichotomous key.
First choose ten items you are interested in – for example, things with wheels, items of clothing, chocolate bars or types of lollies. Copy pictures of each item and place them in front of you. Go to bubbl.us and create a dichotomous key – remember, each question must have only two options – Yes or No. Here is an example of one I created about animals: http://www.bubbl.us/edit?welcome-user-brittgow.
On Monday and Tuesday this week we had “Wild Action” visit Hawkesdale – Xavier and his menagerie of native Australian animals came to school. It was a fast-paced, action-packed show with the opportunity to touch many of the creatures including a tiny squirrel glider, green tree-frog, stumpy-tailed lizard, short-necked turtle, black-headed python and salt-water crocodile. One of the largest animals was an olivine python – about 3 metres long and growing up to 75 kg in weight!
Our class is very excited to be starting our animal project with our American friends from Mr. Ardito’s class in New York. Each American student has chosen an Australian animal and each Australian student has chosen an American animal to research. Photos (from Flickr) of all the animals have been uploaded onto three Voicethreads. Students will prepare a report about the structural, functional and behavioural characteristics that enable their animal to survive. Then they have the option to speak to the Voicethread image or prepare a PowerPoint presentation to be posted on their blogs. (see blogroll at right – year 7’s). The wiki with all support materials is here.
After Cadbury’s Chocolate factory and lunch at Richmond historic village we visited ZooDoo. ZooDoo is a wildlife park quite unlike any I have ever been to! They have an unusual mix of farm animals, native australian animals and some exotic species, such as Bengali tigers and pygmy marmosets. “Up close with the animals” is an understatement at ZooDoo. And don’t miss the shetland minature pony race!
This term the year 7 Science class will be working on an exciting collaborative project with a class from New York. Mr Ardito’s Year 7 scientists will be sharing their knowledge about American animals, while our class share their knowledge of Australian animals. The goal is for each student to produce a design for a camouflage or “crittercam” that will enable a wildlife researcher to get up close to their chosen species. Students will need to research the structural, functional and behavioural adaptations of their organism and think carefully about the most effective way to study the creature’s habits. I have set up a wiki titled “Extraordinary Animals” and created a Voicethread, which students will add to (This is also shown below, with the echidna).