Jill McCloskey

To develop students’ critical thinking skills, Ms. McCloskey and Ms. Montgomery develop a unit that blends investigations of animals with reading and writing skills across the curriculum. Students take field trips to observe animals in various settings and interview experts at each site. They document their learning with photos, video, and drawings and use these images to write fiction and nonfiction texts about the life cycles and habitats of animals. Teachers compile pieces from students’ portfolios into a class book, and students present a finished piece from the book at a culminating celebration for the school and community.