Mount Carmel Elementary Dives into Science

Mount Carmel Elementary's Fifth Graders Dive into Science with Playdough
Posted on 11/20/2023
At Mount Carmel Elementary, a burst of creativity and scientific exploration recently took place in the fifth-grade classroom. Teacher Heather McElroy led students in an innovative exploration of group organisms and vertebrate and invertebrate classification.

McElroy decided the best way to engage the students in the lesson was to make it fun and hands-on. She began the study by asking students to construct models of vertebrates and invertebrates using Playdough. After creating their organisms, McElroy challenged students to think about their creations. She asked how they would fare if they put weight on invertebrates and discussed how the constructed animals are different and similar. 

“My biggest takeaway from the lesson was seeing the ‘aha’ moments when students could truly understand the difference between vertebrates and invertebrates by creating the visual models,” said McElroy. Not only did McElroy enjoy seeing her students enhance their learning with this fun activity, but students also enjoyed it. 

“I liked it because it was fun,” said fifth-grade student Ace Walden, “We did a hands-on activity, and it helped me get ready for our test. Hands-on makes me really remember it.” 

McElroy says she enjoys teaching with creativity, adding, “It really helps my students learn, grow, and retain the information.”
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