JAMESTOWN – Students at Jefferson Middle School took a virtual field trip to the rainforest as apart of an English Language Arts unit via Google Expedition.
Students in Mrs. Gina Hess’ Fifth Grade ELA class are studying the rainforest through the book “The Most Beautiful Roof in the World”, which documents the rainforest canopy by researcher Meg Lowman. To enhance their experience, students were able to take a virtual tour of a rainforest on their iPads.
“The technology instantly put students in the shoes of Meg Lowman and her work in the rainforest,” said Mrs. Hess.
“This was the student’s first expedition of the school year. They loved the app and found it very engaging. I think it is extremely important to make activities enriching and engaging for students.”
Before reading “The Most Beautiful Roof in the World”, students examined the question: “What is unique about living things in the rainforest?” They built background knowledge about living things in the rainforest and the scientists who study them. Students will also explore various forms of informational text as ways to communicate about scientists’ research of the rainforest.
During the reading of the “The Most Beautiful Roof in the World,” they took an in-depth view of how Ms. Lowman became interested in her career, created new ways to study the natural world, and communicate her findings to others.
After the virtual field trip, students will focus on the literacy skills that scientists need to use in order to take field notes, deepen their knowledge through research, and communicate information in writing.
Students will learn how to write field notes like a scientist, by observing carefully and writing precisely about their local natural environment. Then, they will work within groups to conduct research on the insects found in the rainforest, taking notes from print and digital sources.