What was your driving question?
What PBE principles were highlighted in this project?
Students responded to daily journal prompts. The first prompt had students draw maps of their study areas, which had to be somewhere outside and near their houses. From there, students observed and learned about their places including the plants, animal tracks, and the interaction of biotic and abiotic elements. The Bigfoot project was introduced through a journal prompt with photos and a plaster cast of a creature’s tracks from a teacher’s yard. Students speculated what the tracks could be from and many wondered if they belonged to Bigfoot. If they did, students asked about what Bigfoot would eat, which prompted the next journal question about observed energy sources. The project used journaling as a tool for students to examine and experience their places and use science skills without typical classroom supplies. Any organism that lives here has to live off the same environment the students are observing, so how would Bigfoot live here? Students connected the project to science topics like genetics, inheritance, and SCREW (snow, cold, radiation, energy, and wind) factors of winter and even collect data to support their hypotheses. This project used inquiry-based principles because journal prompts often were expansions of student observations from previous entries. The project also used learner-centered principles as the questions were personally relevant to their places (backyards) and used interdisciplinary tools as students journaled, drew, collected data, and hypothesized about Bigfoot.