Northport-East Northport elementary schools are preparing to roll out an updated NYSSLS science unit curriculum to third graders districtwide. The new unit called “What Happened to the Dinosaurs?” is a life science unit about interdependent relationships in ecosystems that students will be learning this spring.
The district’s elementary science curriculum writing team has been working on developing the unit lesson plan and emphasized that it is rooted in storytelling. Katie Moy, one of the first teachers to pilot the program at Ocean Avenue this week, shared that storytelling means “every lesson comes back to our central theme,” which ultimately helps students understand the “why” behind their problem solving. Students in the Technology and Engineering Department at the high school created a life size 3D dinosaur to launch the program and help further inspire the third graders.
During the first lesson of the pilot, students learned about the process of digging for dinosaur bones and used miniature sand boxes to replicate the process. Throughout the next few weeks, students will continue on with this dinosaur theme, learning about their ecosystems, anatomy, ecology and more. District Chairperson of Science, Technology and Engineering David Storch shared that these lesson plans are based on “three dimensions: science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and cross cutting concepts.”