Want to sneak a “peek” at our 3rd-5th grade lessons?
(Also adaptable for 6th graders!)
Here's a description of just 5 lessons for grades 3-5 Biodiversity PEEK STEAM. The full project based learning curriculum consists of 19 complete lesson plans and 5 citizen science projects for kids. That’s enough for a full semester of weekly STEAM activities, and so many interdisciplinary extension activities that you can use it as a base curriculum for an entire year!
Class Biodiversity Challenge
Class Keystone Project
This is the heart of Biodiversity PEEK’s project-based learning. Students evaluate their specific site through the observations and data they have collected there. Then they brainstorm ways they can help native plants and animals near school have a more supportive and biodiverse environment, and develop a feasible plan and take action to improve or protect their local biodiversity. They do the work, not you!
A Biodiversity PEEK Story from Ecuador
This true story about some PEEK kids rescuing a sea turtle packs a big punch. It gives your kids a real Biodiversity PEEK example of how important their citizen-science work of collecting photo data and making observations can be for the conservation of biodiversity. It also gives them a chance to get familiar with and explore the iNaturalist database. Plus, who the heck doesn’t love sea turtles?!
Handheld Cameras Obscura
This iterative-process lesson is the backbone of Biodiversity PEEK’s engineering and applied math experience. Students design their own handheld “dark rooms” and tinker as long as you let them with various iterations of their designs. As your students improve their devices they will naturally isolate variables, note causes and effects, raise new questions, and explore new hypotheses. They may even realize that they have created a model of the human eye!
Cause and Effect Art
This is the first truly STEAM experience for your students. They go outside to create art in a mysterious cause and effect process of light that you DO NOT explain. Instead the kids play with some variables, make observations, and form an evidence-supported claim for what may be happening and why. And, they’ll have some hauntingly beautiful art to show for it!
Curiosity doesn’t kill cats, it teaches kids! First, students go outside and observe the plants and animals they’re naturally curious about. Then they use a writing and drawing journal activity to help them develop several questions about what traits and behaviors help those plants and animals survive and thrive. Later on, students will research their questions to help develop and present an argument with supporting evidence. We’re talking science here, peeps!