Amazing Animal Adaptations (2020-2021, 2018-2019, 2017-2018)
The Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert (CDMOD) in partnership with the Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD) will offer 625 first grade students in five elementary schools a School Tour visit. Each student will participate in the Amazing Animal Adaptations hands-on lesson as a part of that visit. This interdisciplinary lesson combines life science, local ecology, and the creative arts together to meet Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Students will learn about four different animals and how they are uniquely adapted to live in the harsh desert environment. They will then create their own imaginary creature that combines adaptations to make an amazing animal. The post-visit lesson will build on these ideas exploring habitat and writing.
The School Tour program is informed by the latest research in child development including best practices in informal learning and experiential education. The hands-on lessons use an inquiry-based pedagogy to encourage thoughtful, creative, and collaborative learning. School tours benefit students both academically and personally. The hands-on lesson provides a unique environment where children directly experience the arts, sciences, and humanities in interactive environments. Interdisciplinary lessons that merge the arts with science, engineering, and math promote greater understanding than a subject offered by itself. The Amazing Animal Adaptations lesson combines life science and art and connects it to our local environment to get students think about how desert animals have evolved to survive here. Understanding that children gain knowledge through play and investigation, this lesson promotes thoughtful and creative experiential learning.