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Vassal Lane Sixth Graders Visit The Harvard Museum Of Natural History

Vassal Lane Sixth Graders Visit The Harvard Museum Of Natural History
Vassal Lane 6th graders visited the Harvard Museum of Natural History on November 13th and 15th to explore evidence for evolution related to social studies and science. Leslie Kramer and Marianne Dunne collaborated on making the learning experience at the Museum focused and meaningful for the 6th graders. The students participated in a Human origins lab where they examined skulls of early man and tools that humans have used over time while noting the major physical and technological changes seen from Australopithecus to Homo sapiens.

The connections from the lab were directly related to their classroom experiences and learning about Ancient History. Students have been focused on two essential questions: “What is civilization?” and World Geography “Why does “where” matter?” After the lab experience, students explored the exhibit halls and sketched skeletal similarities of a human forelimb, a bat wing and a whale fin. They also made observations and sketched plant structures in the glass flowers exhibit and compared fossils in the Romer Gallery. In addition, they focused on collecting data about how the horse we know today has changed from its early ancestors by looking at the adaptations and environments that have enabled it to survive. In Science, 6th graders will be studying geology this winter and ecology in the spring. The focused work on the exhibit halls was intended to spark their curiosity about the upcoming units of study and connect to two geology essential questions: “How much evidence is enough evidence?” and “How does studying the past help us predict the future?” The 6th graders, teachers and chaperones enjoyed exploring and experiencing the wonderful objects the Museum has to offer.