In the over 2.5 million square miles of the Amazon Rainforest lives 427 mammal species, 1,300 bird species, 378 species of reptiles, and more than 400 species of amphibians, with new species discovered each year.
When Jayson Dinger did a unit on the animals found in the rainforest, his second-grade class became fascinated by how many types of frogs there were. The interest in the many Amazon Rainforest species turned into a student-led research project resulting in a series of non-fiction books about specific animals.
The students first step was to choose an animal living in the Amazon Rainforest. Then the class went to the library to begin research. Younger students teamed up with sixth-graders from Marieka Woolever's class, and each team collaborated using online resources available through the library. To guide their research, students used an outline that included finding information about the animal's physical appearance, habitat, food sources and life cycle. They also added fun facts they discovered.
“Working with the second-graders provided an opportunity for the older students to use their research skills,” said librarian Jordan Hahn. “They did a great job showing how they could apply those skills those skills to mentor the younger students.”
Once the research was complete, the second graders turned their notes into books. Finally, both classes came together in the library to celebrate their hard work and present their final projects.