Grade 2 Habitat Investigation

Grade 2 Habitat Investigation
  • Grade 2
Sean Carroll

Grade 2 students have been learning about different habitats around the world. They have been learning how different habitats meet the needs of the living things within that habitat. They have also been learning about some of the challenges facing the animals living in that habitat.  After exploring a variety of local and global habitats, students focused on one particular habitat to research in more depth. 

One of the key concepts from this unit of inquiry is responsibility. Students explored this idea through the question, “What is our responsibility to protect habitats and the animals that live there?” After learning more about these issues, students decided to teach others about the habitat, the animals that live there, the threats they are facing, and what our responsibility is to help them. 

Students then began working on a multimedia digital story to share with classmates, other grades, parents, and the wider Seisen community. In making this digital story, students utilized a variety of research and notetaking skills, as well as combining many different ICT skills to make an informative and creative digital story.

While still researching, students got started by creating the introduction and title scene. Students had just finished a coding unit, so this was a perfect opportunity to apply and transfer what they learned into a new task. First, students watched a short video with a compilation of cartoon introductions. We discussed the different ways the letters moved or appeared on the screen to make a creative and dynamic title. After a brief discussion, students got started on the Scratch Jr. app and began coding the letters of their title to make them fall, bounce, spin or shimmy into place. 

The next step was to create the backdrop for the opening scene. Here, students used a digital art app called Sketches School. Students used this app to create a realistic painting of the habitat they were researching. This app was also useful at later stages of the movie making process as they annotated photos, added text boxes, or included key vocabulary words.

Here are a few examples of the opening scenes.

After researching, students spent time writing their scripts. They included 4 key sections when writing about their habitat; characteristics of the habitat, how animals are being endangered, how we can help, and a summary of the food web.

The next step was to find images for their movie. Here, we taught students advanced search techniques so they could look for images with high resolution and, more importantly, Creative Commons licenses.  As students found images, they added them to iMovie to begin the actual moviemaking.

Here are some photos from various stages of the project.

As students progressed through the various stages, we introduced some other ideas that might help take student videos to the next level. This included adding chapter headings or subheadings to better organize their video, diagrams or labels to highlight important information, text features to add facts or vocabulary words, or picture in picture features to highlight key information. Here students worked on various features depending where they were in the process.

Finally, students showed off their videos in a “Meet the Director” event with parents, teachers and other classes. Have a look at some photos from the day.

View all the grade 2 videos. 



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