Inspiring exploration, appreciation, and conservation of our natural world.

GTSI Students Share Great Lakes Critter Knowledge

It was cold and snowy last week in the Grand Traverse Region. Between snow days, GTSI students in Nan Delucia’s class at Grand Traverse Academy (GTA) were preparing for the Non-Fiction Science Fair to be held at GTA on March 1st.  Each student has selected an animal that lives in Michigan and they have been involved in extensive research! Where do they live? What do they eat? How are they adapted? Why are they important to the ecosystem and habitat they occupy? These are just some of the questions students are asking to become experts on their chosen critter. Students will be displaying their findings  at the Science Fair, but that’s not all!  Each student is providing an interesting and educational way for participant to interact with their display.  Some of them are even using life-like animal puppets to share their knowledge!

GTSI students from GTA

Practicing with puppets for the Non-Fiction Science Fair

Across town, at TCAPS Montessori, GTSI students in Megan Hancock’s class have been taking a literary approach to their study of Great Lakes critters. Earlier this winter, they worked with Poet/Bard, Terry Wooten from Elk Rapids, to create Great Lakes Critter poems. Last week, GTSI Program Coordinator, Jen Strauss introduced the concept of Michigan animal myths and legends. After telling the students a few traditional how and why stories like “How Turtle Got a Cracked Shell” and “How Chipmunk Got Stripes, students pondered the traits and characteristics of their own chosen animal. After verbalizing or “telling” their story ideas to a partner, students began to write a fictional story about how their animal came to look the way it does today. What makes animal myths unique is that students use their scientific knowledge  and  the element of anthropomorphism in their writing,  not only to tell how the animal came to look the way it does, but to also express a lesson the animal learned along the way. When the myths are complete, students will be Skyping with a partnering classroom in the south, using technology to share their tales with students in another part of the country.

Storytelling as an oral writing exercise

Creating Great Lakes Critter Myths










Stay tuned to the GTSI Blog for more reports from the students of the Grand Traverse Stewardship Initiative!

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