[Each week Ms. Darea’s first grade class has a STEAM lesson that crosses the curriculum and lasts all week. Here is what Ms. Darea had to say about Project #10.]
Our STEAM project this week revolved around Chinese New Year! First, we talked about the Chinese zodiac and read what the different animals mean. We talked about how the Chinese zodiac is similar to astrological horoscope signs.
Then, we decided to sort the animals according to color. After sorting, we talked about the five major groups of animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds-we very briefly talked about invertebrate). With a little guidance, the kids actually came up with these on their own! Then, we sorted the creatures of the Chinese zodiac into the appropriate groups. Someone started to put the dragon under reptiles. We talked about how dragons are actually fictional, but we all agreed that if it were an animal, it would probably be a reptile because of its scaly skin. After sorting them, we made a line plot of the animals represented in the Chinese zodiac and analyzed the results of that. Next, we sorted a variety of other animals into the same five categories. I threw in some insects to try to throw them off and then we discussed invertebrates in a little more detail. We then compared two animals from the Chinese zodiac using a Venn diagram. The students were then given the instructions for their project.
The students had to secretly pick their favorite creature from the Chinese zodiac and make a mask to represent that creature. Each group was given a variety of items to use in creating their masks. We wore these masks in our Chinese New Year parade.
When we returned to the classroom, we took turns guessing what creature each person made and recorded these on another line plot. When the line plot was finished, we analyzed the data and concluded that the tiger was the most liked creature of the Chinese zodiac in our classroom.