Throughout our twelve-week expedition, Second Graders became botanists and entomologists as they cared for and cultivated plant and insect life. We integrated arts and science curriculum to study painted lady butterflies, silkworms, fava beans and marigolds. Both in class and at home, students watched the life cycles unfold in real time and compared each species’ stages of growth. This science expedition interwove the ASCEND values, ELD, writing, the arts, community service, and technology. At our school-wide EXPO day, students sold hand-crafted informational coloring books on the life cycles of fava bean plants and painted lady butterflies. Second grade scientists shared their informational reports and led members of the community through a tour of our 3D plant and insect sculptures. Our expedition culminated in class performances of seedling and butterfly poems.
It was amazing to watch our students transform into scientists. When insects came to our classroom in their larval and egg stages, these budding entomologists demonstrated compassion as they cared for and observed the insects in their stages of growth. In science-integrated ELD students practiced and internalized new scientific vocabulary that they later used in their investigations. We kept a bilingual blog and a 24-7 insect webcam so that students could observe the life cycles of our insects from home. In art, students connected their studies to create 3D models that were larger than life, which proved to be very fun and messy!
What was fun about EXPO was that we got to give away our seeds after we gave tours to the people who came to visit.
The coolest thing at EXPO is that I performed a poem in front of probably sixty people! We played instruments and did a poem on stage to represent seedlings. We did the poem in English and Spanish, to show how a seedling becomes a bigger flower.
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