Mrs. Carter's Second Grade Class
Washington Elementary School
Fairfield, Iowa

The second grade class from Mrs. Carter’s room read the selection “Nature Spy” by Shelley Rotner and Ken Kreisler from the Houghton Mifflin reading theme Nature Detective. In this selection a young girl explores the outdoors and in the process takes a very close look at nature. As she observes objects and creatures such as a leaf and a frog she notices the fine details in their appearance. (The leaf has fine lines running throughout and the frog has golden eyes). The class also enjoyed the book “Why Do Leaves Change Color?” by Betsy Maestro.

As a follow up to these selections, Mrs. Carter’s students explored nature and fall changes on the school grounds and took digital photos of leaves and other objects. Each object was photographed twice, once up close and next far away. Mrs. Carter uploaded all of the photos to an  online newsletter.

As a whole class activity, Mrs. Carter presented all the photos using her Web-based newsletter. To present to the whole group, she used the program AppleWorks, an LCD projector and an iBook. A template was also integrated from AppleWorks Draw. Within this template two photos were inserted along with the use of a Venn diagram for recording comparisons. Mrs. Carter modeled for students how to copy a photo from the Web-based newsletter and paste it into AppleWorks. Once two photos of up close and far away were inserted, comparisons were made by students, the page was saved then printed and posted in the classroom.

For their second project each student chose a photo taken on their nature expedition and inserted it into a Kidspiration template. Students looked carefully at the photos and added their observations. Their completed projects were printed, compiled into a class book, and posted on the class web site.

Educational Software Used: Kidspiration, AppleWorks (Draw), Web-based Newsletter Tool

Hardware Used: LCD projector, cart of iBooks, digital cameras

Project Template

Standards and Benchmarks:

 Reading Standard 2: Applies a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate and appreciate texts                     2.4 Connects, compare and contrast information across texts.

 Science Standard 14: Understands the nature of scientific knowledge and inquiry

            2.1 Knows that learning can come from careful observations and simple experiments.

  Technology Literacy Standard 1: Basic Operations and Concepts

            K-2 Benchmark: Uses input devices and output devices to successfully operate computers, VCRs, audiotapes and other technologies.

             K-2 Benchmark: Uses developmentally appropriate multimedia resources to support learning.

            Literacy Standard 3: Technology Productivity Tools

            K-2 Benchmark: Uses technology resources for problem solving, communication, illustration of thoughts ideas and stories.

 Literacy Standard 5: Technology Research Tools

            K-2 Benchmark: Uses technology resources (educational software, Web environments) for problem solving, self-directed learning, and extended learning activities.  


Patricia Knox & Susan Silverman - Fall Into Autumn 2004