Grade 4

Exploring How Adaptations Connect Place and Living Things


Core Competency Questions:

    • How can I understand my local environment through the exploration of native specimens?
    • How can new information and my background knowledge inform my ability to ask questions?
    • How can I demonstrate my understanding of ecology through creative expression?

The Context:

Through the lens of ecology, students began the learning process with a provocation that ignited this multidisciplinary exploration. We began by exploring our biome using local artifacts and specimens in a “Beaty Box”, borrowed from the U.B.C. Biodiversity Museum. After grounding our sense of place, we analyzed other biomes through virtual reality and research. Students were then challenged to focus on one biome and animal, to explore how living things sense and respond to their environment. They designed a diorama that highlighted the animal’s adaptations and shared their research.


“By providing them with the hands on experience, I noticed that students were able to deeply inquire and engage with their learning. It provided them the unique opportunity to interact with artifacts from our local environment that they are familiar with, but had never been close to. This was a team process to get together including working with our librarian, co teachers and the ELL teacher.” Kelsey Woodley

Student Reflections

“When we did biome in a box I learned that making stuff like that was really fun, even though I did that as an assignment maybe I will do that again just for fun.” -Nevaeh

“It was important to learn about the Beaty Box specimens so we could learn more about what lives in our environment as well as us. Also so we could learn that animals need other animals and plants to survive in the wild.” -Annabelle

“We got to share our learning to the other class. I also really enjoyed looking at the other class’s biomes.” -Saghar

Curricular Competencies

  • Science 4- Understands biomes are large regions with similar environmental features
  • Science 4- Uses inquiry processes to explore the local temperate rainforest and research the six major biomes of the world
  • Language Arts 4- Accesses and integrates information and ideas from a variety of sources and prior ideas
  • Language Arts 4- Uses note taking, report writing skills and presentation to demonstrate understanding of material
  • Fine Arts 4-Connects knowledge and skills from other areas of learning by planning and creating artistic representations

ADST connections

  • Uses the technology of VR goggles to extend their understanding
  • Practices design thinking and processes by creating prototypes

Key Questions

How can I learn more about our local environment?
What are other biomes like?
How can I represent a biome through design?
How do animals respond to their environment?