What do you get when fourth and fifth graders swoop in to guide first graders through a project that incorporates all that they are learning in their home room, art, science and MakerSpace? You get engaged, hands-on learning and some great endangered animal presentations.

Ms. Christina assigned her first graders a project that would not only teach them about endangered animals and their habitats, but also how to research, collaborate and present. She started out by taking them to the Incline Village library where they checked out books about their endangered animal of choice and the research began. Back in the classroom, their fifth grade buddies came in to help them take notes and start forming them into a research paper.

Next the first graders headed off to Ms. K’s science class where she taught them all about animal habitats and why those habitats are directly linked to their animal’s survival. Our fourth graders then joined them in science to help them transform shoe boxes into an animal habitat. So by this point our first graders were well informed about their animals, had a habitat for them and were ready for the actual animals.

Ms. Alison helped them draw out their animals in art class. The drawings were then taken to Mr. Pandola’s MakerSpace class to be printed onto wood and cut out. Back in art class, Ms. Alison helped our first graders decorate the wooden animals and move them into their shoebox habitats.

Fourth and fifth graders, along with first grade parents, came into Duffield Hall to see the final product. LTS first graders were proud and ready to present their endangered animal. They were confident in their knowledge and excited to answer questions. Juniper said her favorite part of the project was working with her fifth grade buddy. Leif actually caught a spider in his home and brought it to school in a jar for his habitat! Hazel’s favorite part was creating the glistening blue river in her habitat with stones and a hot glue gun.

The LTS first grade class not only learned about endangered animals, but they acted on their newfound knowledge by adopting Basil, a rescued Australian Native koala in care at Port Stephens Koala Hospital. Well done, Bobcats!