Lakes Inquiry and Phenomenon Based Learning
Hey, y'all! My students and I are loving our inquiry and phenomenon based learning units we've done so far! When we finish our forest unit, we'll be starting on our lake unit! We live near the most beautiful lake ever, but this PhenomBL unit works for any lake you and your students want to study.
We start off each unit by asking questions and deciding where we want to focus our learning. The kids have so many questions so this is a fun part.
We start off by learning about the different types of lakes and the different layers of a lake, then we hone in and focus on what we'd find in our own Lake Tahoe. (Again, you can use any lake near you for this study.)
We explore the different plants and animals/fish we find in the Lake and the different things that make Lake Tahoe so unique. Did you know it's cold? Like really cold. Like polar bear plunge cold in the winter.
After we look at what's there naturally, we take a look at how people use the lake. We have a huge tourist industry here so there are jobs protecting the lake, taking people on boat tours, manning the marina, and more.
There's also a ton of stuff to do at the lake--fishing, sailing, water sports, and more. And so many laws protecting the lake and wildlife around it. All of this hits on those major social studies standards about citizenship, human geography, natural geography, etc.
And the kids are always amazed to find out that the lake changes over time. In their heads, it's always been the same. But we learn about erosion, tides, water levels, snowmelt, and more, and the kids just keep asking more questions.
They love to see how the lake levels change over time. Some years, we have lots of beach to lay on and sun in. Other years, we're spread out on the edge of the tree line just get our feet wet. But they don't realize these things until they see it graphed on paper. It's a huge eye opener.
As you can tell, this is not just a simple unit on water or what a lake habitat is. It's a multi-disciplinary unit that covers all kinds of aspects about the lake. That's what I love about phenomenon based learning--it's like thematic units on steroids.
You can find out more about this unit in my TPT store here. While you're at it, be sure to follow me on TPT so you never miss a thing.
I hope you found some new ideas for your next unit. Have a wonderful week and I'll talk to you soon!