5th Grade Marine Animal project

A big project is expect for fifth grade. The marine animal project was just that: BIG. It was fun but involved. We had a month to prepare for this extensive project. There was class time carved out each week for the students to work on research. Because Leah is generally an on top of it kind of gal I figured that she was keeping up with her research. Unfortunately that was not the case. We learned almost too late that she was not quite organized. The weekend before this project was due she left all of her notes at school. Which meant we had to start all over. Not something that we wanted to hear. Nevertheless we got it all done.

Leah chose the green sea turtle for this project. She needed to do a very diverse list of mini-projects that compiled together make the whole project. There were 5 categories to choose from and each category had several options. Each category had a level of difficulty and required a certain number from each to be done. I think it was great to have so many options. It gave students the choice to do things that appealed to them. The negative was that for some kids it was overwhelming. I think that is what happened to Leah. She became side tracked and distracted which led to her changing her mind often. Those choices attributed to her not getting as much done as she would have if the project was more narrow.

For as much as a hassle this project was to complete this is the one Leah loved the most. She had such a wonderful time reading about the turtle. She often became so interested that she had to be told to put those books down. Terrible! Telling a child to stop learning because of needing to finish a project. If we had kept a better time table there would have been no need to stop Leah from enjoying those books. Trying to narrow her choices in product was hard. She wanted to do some more involved options but time was not on our side. She had to compromise on some so she could have time to finish her project. She chose to make a Facebook page which was so fun. I had her look at my page to see an example. She was very excited about creating all the friends and their messages. We saved this portion for last as that was the most fun to do.

In art the students were to create a 3-D model of their animal. Leah's turtle was made from paper mache and painted green. It was a rushed job which was unfortunate. (Why must art class always be rushed?) So it pretty much looked like a green oval. The paint caused the arms and legs to get affixed to the body which is why the turtle turned out to be more of an oval. I would have taken a picture but there is not much to see and Leah was pretty upset about how the paint ruined the arms and legs.


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