Mrs. Mosher’s 6th Grade Science Uses Project Based Learning to Explore the Finger Lakes Region
Students in Mrs. Mosher’s sixth grade science class will be experiencing a new, student-driven curriculum as they use project based learning to guide their classwork.
Mrs. Mosher chose to completely revamp her lesson plan this year to utilize a different method of teaching. Project based learning is an approach in which students gain a deep understanding of content through active investigation, research and immersion into the topic through complex questions and problem solving.
Project based learning allows students to pick a topic to study and empowers them to seek out information and research the topic on their own. A project outline established by Mrs. Mosher helps guide the students through the process and incorporates New York State sixth grade science standards and learning goals including the scientific method, mass, volume and graphing and charting data measurement.
“My students keep telling me how much they love our science classes this year with our project based learning format,” Mrs. Mosher said. “I am thrilled to see my students so excited and engaged and to see the number of topics they are covering in their studies of the Finger Lakes region and New York State.”
Using New York State and the Finger Lakes region as a thematic foundation, students chose a topic to explore that fits into the subject at large. Some of the topics being studied by students this marking period include the effects of blue green algae on wildlife in the Finger Lakes and the impact of salt mining on the geology of the Finger Lakes region.
The school year kicked off with a field trip around the Finger Lakes area to immerse students and inspire potential subjects for projects. The field trip included stops at a concord grape vineyard, the Curtiss museum and geological insight about the region.
After thoroughly researching their topic, students will organize the information they gathered into a project to be presented to the class. By sharing their findings, the whole class will get to learn about all of the topics studied by each student. Students will pick a new topic each marking period.
“My students are happy and learning!” Mrs. Mosher said. “They are learning how to learn, they are teaching themselves, they are teaching each other, and they are teaching me!”