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Upper El (Mr. D): New Species

Our afternoons this week were full of writing and continuing our Evolution Project with a fun "game" I created to better understand Natural Selection.

With our group gone for a field trip on Tuesday, we decided to use Monday as an extended work cycle day. We had two projects to work on this week: weekly stories and the Evolution Project.

On Thursday, I introduced my Natural Selection "game" to the class—Part Two of their project. Using the animal they chose to research in Part One, they put them through Natural Selection. First, they would roll two dice. Depending on the number that came out, they would choose from two mutations their animal would undergo.

They would describe how that mutation might help, hurt, or not affect their chosen animal and why. Then, it was time to roll the dice again to change their environment in some way. Again, the die would reveal what that change would be—adding a predator?—getting hotter?

Then, it was decision time. Which animal, your original or the mutant, would be best suited for this new environment? Whichever one they chose would move on to the next round. When students get through a dozen rounds, their original species should be very different from the original animal.

Part Three, which we'll introduce next week, will be to create this new species with a collage of images. I mean, they're not going to find a picture of a hairy crocodile in real life! I'm looking forward to seeing what new and wild species we have created!

Friday was a fun day. Students finished their work during the morning with Ms. Shannon, and then we spent the first part of our afternoon doing a really good clean of our space. Finally, it was to the woods and the rope swing for the rest of our afternoon!

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