Blog Post #6: Virtual Lesson (Habitats)

This virtual lesson asks students to visit the National Geographic Kids website to read about different types of habitats. After learning more information, the students will complete a drag and drop activity on Google Classroom, where they will drag and drop food, water, and shelter to the correct animal.

Content:

  • Living Systems 2.5 The student will investigate and understand that living things are part of a system. Key concepts include: b) an animal’s habitat includes adequate food, water, shelter or cover, and space.
  • The focus of the lesson is understanding the definition of a habitat and the components of a habitat (food, water, shelter, and space).
  • Misconceptions: Students may have difficulty understanding the different habitats that animals inhabit, habitats of domestic vs. wild animals, and the difference between shelter and space (shelter: something that protects the animal vs. space: area to roam)

Pedagogy:

  • The students will learn through the research of habitats on the National Geographic Kids website and the practice and application of knowledge by completing the drag and drop activity.

Technology:

  • The students will use two forms of technology during this lesson: the National Geographic Kids website (https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/nature/habitats/) and Google Classroom (online drag and drop activity).

Pedagogical-Content Knowledge (PCK):

  • Through their research and practice using the knowledge learned through research (pedagogy), the students will learn what a habitat is, the components of a habitat, and different types of habitats (content).

Technological-Content Knowledge (TCK):

  • The different types of habitats and their components (content) can be accessed through the National Geographic Kids articles on habitats and can be assessed using the Google Classroom drag and drop activity (technology).

Technological-Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPK):

  • The students’ research of habitats (pedagogy) is supported by the National Geographic Kids website (technology) and the practice using the knowledge learned through research (pedagogy) is supported by the Google Classroom drag and drop activity (technology).

Google Classroom Class Code: h2ihxgm 

Social Studies and the Arts

I believe that drama would be the most useful art form to help me understand different historical contexts because I personally feel the most engaged when I am able to take on the thoughts and feelings of another person through acting. Drama would help me better understand historical people, places, and events because I would be able to put myself in a specific situation as a specific character. This would allow me to understand that person’s experience and how it relates to current issues in our society. 

As a future educator, I plan to use all of the art forms Goldberg suggests, depending on which area of study we are focusing. I believe that I will use visual arts and drama most often because they are two simple, engaging mediums of art through which students can better learn and understand historical concepts. Drama would be most useful in helping students learn about historical events and the important characters that played a role in those events. They would not only enjoy having the opportunity to “become” a character, but they would also be able to connect with the material in a more meaningful and positive way. Visual arts, on the other hand, would be helpful for students to learn about the customs of different cultures, as well as geographical concepts. Students could learn more about the lifestyles, customs, and beliefs of people throughout history, for example, by analyzing historical photos, paintings, and other works of art.

It is important to integrate art into social studies curriculum because it allows students to learn in an interactive way. Being able to interact with historical content through art, rather than reading textbooks and memorizing facts, is essential for students to relate to the experiences of people throughout history. In turn, this could motivate students to create positive change in order to better our society.