Discovering Darwin at Commack Road

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During Darwin Day at Commack Road, fourth-graders in Judd Kramarcik’s classroom celebrated the life of Charles Darwin. Like Darwin, they became naturalists, “discovering” an unknown species of bird during the Feb. 12 project.

Each student then created a model of his or her bird, including any adaptations the bird would have for surviving in specific ecosystems like forests or wetlands, using myriad materials such as Styrofoam balls, feathers, sticks, pipe cleaners, plastic kitchen utensils and aluminum foil. The students then shared their discoveries using their models.

“By creating these models of a ‘newly discovered’ species of bird, the students are doing what scientists do in the real world,” said Kramarcik. “These young naturalists become fully engaged in their discussions about how the birds adaptations help it survive in the bird's particular habitat.