When You Find a Mouse in Livingston

What was your driving question?

How can we safely trap and relocate a mouse?

Grades Involved

Grades Kindergarten

How did this project connect to your local or regional community?

Students learned from local community members about rodents as well as pest control/animal trapping. They also connected the needs of mice to what our community (and school building) provided for mice.

What PBE principles were highlighted in this project?

Learner-Centered, Design Thinking, and Inquiry-Based

Standards: List standards or competencies that the project addresses

ALCOS Math K.16- Identify and describe measurable attributes of a single object using vocabulary such as long/short, heavy/light, etc.

ALCOS Math K.17- Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common to see which object has “more of” or “less of” the attribute and describe the differences.

ALCOS Math K.18- Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, behind, etc.

ALCOS Math K.19- Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientation or overall size.



Project Description

After finding a mouse in their classroom, students were concerned with “catching and releasing” the mouse safely. They met with community visitors and explored areas of our school building while learning all they could about what the mice need to survive. Students then built several iterations of their traps, problem-solving each time they did not catch the critter. After many days of redesigning their traps and waiting for the mouse, the students caught the critter and safely released it back into the wild.



How did this positively impact the community? How was it shared?

The teachers were very thankful to have the mouse removed from the classroom, but we all were so proud of how these students persevered and showed so much compassion to the tiny mouse. The project was shared with other kindergarten classes as these students spoke about what happened and how they took on the task of safely catching and releasing the mouse.

Reflection: What was the biggest challenge? What was the most rewarding aspect of this project?

According to the students, the biggest challenge was figuring out how to catch the mouse. They had to reevaluate and rebuild their traps multiple times before catching the mouse. The most rewarding aspect to us teachers was seeing the students use two of our core values in the most realistic way: compassion and perseverance.

Any advice for a teacher or student that is implementing a PBE project for the first time?

“Allow the students to take the lead on the project. Release a little more project control and follow their lead. If you do, the project is guaranteed to succeed.”