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BioKIDS: Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species addresses both inquiry and life science content standards through exploration of local biodiversity, collection of animal species, and the investigation of individual animals and how animals interact with one another. Through these activities students will gain a clearer understanding of...
BioKIDS: Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species addresses both inquiry and life science content standards through exploration of local biodiversity, collection of animal species, and the investigation of individual animals and how animals interact with one another. Through these activities students will gain a clearer understanding of how organisms meet their basic needs and the role the environment plays in supporting a variety of organisms. A feature of the curriculum is the Critter Catalog, an on-line animal species database developed by the BioKIDS team. A downloadable Invertebrate ID Guide helps in the identification of invertebrate animals found in a typical schoolyard. Students use these guides as the main resource when they write species accounts (conduct research on individual animals). A BioKIDS curriculum binder contains carefully sequenced inquiry-focused activities. The inquiry emphasis encourages students to generate claims from evidence. Exemplars, questions, and sentence starters are provided to help students formulate scientific explanations from evidence throughout a sequence of eleven authentic inquiry situations.
Students in my college Life Science course for prospective K6 teachers performed MUCH BETTER investigations using the scaffolds provided by the BioKids curriculum on a field trip to our Arboretum than they did using guidelines from our Ocean Institute on a field trip to the rocky intertidal in southern California. It would be wonderful if projects like BioKids were to be developed for investigations about different kinds of characteristics of diverse ecosystems.
Some of the page numbering on the Invertebrate ID Guide does not match the items described in the key. Surprisingly, my college students were so enthusiastic that they were not discouraged and they quickly fixed the page numbers.