While students wanted to find a dead animal and watch what happens when flies approach it, we agreed this wouldn't "fly" in our houses! So we turned to the work of others and found an amazing video of flies up close!
While there was a lot of talk about flies and the white things (which we think are maggots), we wanted to zoom in on them more! So even though Mrs. Brinza zoomed in on the movie, it was too pixelated, so we had to find another resource!
We got so much out of this video, as we were all thirsty to see what the flies were doing up close! We summarized our ideas together on this Jamboard:
Students were asked to create a model connecting the flies to the white creatures that appeared. Check out some students' ideas before we'll discuss our ideas and come to consensus as a class!
After thinking about what was causing changes to the badger and watching the timelapse of it, we agreed that we had more questions about the causes and effects. We added more questions to our DQB (gosh, we are constantly thinking of new questions like scientists do, huh?)!
We also added to our Investigation Ideas charts, as we felt that we'd need some new things to do because of the new questions we created. Here are our updated investigation ideas!
With all these new ideas, we agreed our focused needed to be two-fold:
1. Focus on the flies, since they arrived first to the dead badger's body.
2. Think about how we'd set up our plant investigations, since we're in a unique set-up (remote vs. hybrid) due to the pandemic. Students are thinking about what containers they'd use along with dead plants or dead plant parts they could use.
Between the dead raccoon, our related phenomena lists, the dead badger, and also the realization that animals aren't the only things that die (plants do as well!), we spent quite a bit of time thinking about all these questions that were popping up in our heads! Check out all our questions!
Way to go 5th graders! We've got LOTS to figure out!
The recent heavy snowfall made it really hard to find a dead animal, but with the help of people sharing resources on YouTube, we were able to find a great timelapse of a dead badger. Raccoons and badgers are pretty similar in size, and they can also be found in similar environments! So the classes agreed it was okay to see!
There was so much to see from the dead badger timelapse that would hopefully help us figure out what's happened to the dead raccoon. After LOTS of discussion, we settled on making a cause-effect map to help us with our thoughts! We discovered that there was so much going on!
After creating our initial models predicting what would happen to the raccoon, students had a chance to discuss what they did alongside others in a breakout room! We compiled all our ideas to agree on the following:
We realized we had LOTS of differences between our models, and we needed ways to figure out what's going on with the raccoon over time. It's always incredible to ask students for their investigation ideas, because they are truly thinking like scientists here!
Between the two fifth grade classes, we had lots of great ideas! We decided finding a dead animal would be the best way to find what happens to a dead animal!
From here, we realized that many of us had seen something like this ourselves, so we created a related phenomena list of other animals in various places that we had sadly come across as dead. From the forest preserve to the snow, to beaches or streets/backyards that surround our homes, we all could connect to the dead raccoon Mrs. Brinza found!
With all this dead stuff conversation, we agreed that all these animals that died, including the raccoon would eventually be gone. So we took to our paper and pencils and set out to create an initial model to explain our thinking behind what was causing the raccoon and surrounding area to change over time!
Next week we'll be comparing our models to see what we agreed upon along with any differences we might have!