Do snakes deserve to be feared by humans?
2nd and 3rd
How did this project connect to the local or regional community?
We have a lot of boys in our class who are very curious in animals and the natural world. Snakes are a mysterious creature unlike any other, so our students had many questions surrounding snakes.
What PBE Principles were highlighted in this project?
Inquiry-Based, Community as Classroom, Interdisciplinary Approach
We began by uncovering what exactly our students wanted to learn about snakes and how they felt about snakes at the beginning of the project. What were there conceptions of snakes? Our entry event was a community member bringing in three snakes and allowing our students to see, touch and hold snakes as a way to engage their curiosity.
Their excitement was tangible and we knew we needed to get a snake for our classroom for an authentic experience. We borrowed a corn snake from a community member and were able to observe his behaviors (even eating!) and take care of him.
We chose eight questions about snakes and students worked in pairs to research and answer their question. We also collected data from our school community on people’s fear of snakes. We discovered that overall children are less afraid of snakes than adults. We wrapped up our project by having students write an opinion essay on whether or not they believe snakes should be feared by humans. They used examples and supporting details to defend their opinion.
Our biggest challenge was feeding mice to our snake Harold. Also, narrowing down the project, as the topic of snakes is such a broad one that could have gone in many different directions.