Mrs. Morton & Mrs. Luce
Manchester School
Windham, Maine
National Semiconductor Innovative Idea Grant Project

Objectives | Activities | Materials | Assessment | Conclusion | Student Work |
Pictures- Beaver Bog #1   Beaver Bog #2    Technology Day for Teachers
Mrs. Morton's Homepage


This unit integrates Maine Studies with the Science Standard, Ecology- “to investigate the connection between living and non-living components of an ecosystem” and the Standard: Scientific Reasoning- “to practice, and apply logic, intuitive thinking and brainstorming” as students report the affects beaver-bogs have on others and decide what to do with the dams.


  • Students research the historical importance of beavers on the success of early inhabitants.
  • Students read the book Sign of the Beaver keeping a reflections' journal and vocabulary list.
  • A visit to a beaver-bog gathers video and digital pictures for multimedia presentations.
  • Guest speakers are invited, e.g. Maine Audubon Society.
  • Teams select who to role play (turtles, raccoons, town manager, forester, farmer etc.), and then investigate the point of view of that role. They gather information by sending  e-mails to people like; Gray Animal Farm Experts, Audubon Society, USM biologists, the town manager, farmers, lumbermen, game wardens, and animal control officers. They conduct on-line research which includes exploration of web sites and primary source newspaper articles. They then create and perform  puppet shows about the beaver bog demonstrating the various points of view. 
  • Students  write reports and share learnings by creating Hyperstudio presentations, and  help with iMovie videos and webpages.  Brochures about beavers are created and sent to the town manager.
  • Students engage in video conferencing using a view cam to share knowledge of  beavers with other students.
  • Students learn about ways people and beavers can co-exist. The students from both classes split into two groups to debate the pro's and con's of beaver bogs.
  • Students showcase the project at the annual Manchester Community Day Celebration by having a display table in the gym for the students, parents and community to see. The project is placed in local newspapers.  A CD of the project is placed in the public library and copies sent home to parents.
  • Digital still and movie cameras
  • View Cam or iSight for video conferencing.
  • Computer with iMovie or Movie Maker
  • Sign of the Beaver Books
  • Resources-Click here for worksheets, a list of books and contact information
  • Internet Connection- Click here for a large list of web sites on beavers.


  • Students are given a "Pretest" to assess current knowledge.
  • Students' Sign of the Beaver journal is assessed for comprehension, accuracy of vocabulary and quality of reflections.
  • Students' observation sheets of their trips to the beaver bogs are assessed for quality.
  • Reports and multimedia projects are assessed for information and quality using rubrics.
  • Informal oservations of collaborations are made.  
  • Students prepare for a debate. Solutions require clear evidence, including resources sited, that defend conclusions convincing others to take action.
  • Brochures are assessed for visual display and accuracy.
  • Presentations are assessed on knowledge and evidence of appreciation of nature and the importance of being good “Keepers of the Earth”.


This authentic project builds productive citizens as students understand the interrelationships in the world around them.  Multi-sensory learning actively involves students developing higher level thinking.

  • Brochures are sent to the town office.
  • A newspaper article is sent to the local paper.
  • Student share multi-media presentations with other students and parent.
  • Students help edit imovies and information that is added to the web page.
  • Students share knowledge at their information table at the Community Day Celebration.


Top of Page


Reading Sign of the Beaver.

A field trip to a real beaver bog!

Performing a puppetshow about the bog!

Audubon Society Demonstration

Students broke into two groups and debated the pro's and con's of the impact of the beaver bog.

Sharing beaver bog knowledge at our
Community Day Celebration.

Students share knowledge with other students by using the view cam to do a video conference.