The Everglades


This resource is one of the outcomes of a school wide inquiry into the Everglades at Avocado Elementary in Homestead, Florida as part of the Science Learning Network project. It was created by a group of Avocado's teachers and Miami Museum of Science staff.


Avocado Elementary

Carol Langford
Debbie McDonald
Laura Mestre
Carolyn Olson
Helen Patnode
Jackie Stone

Miami Museum of Science

Carlyn Little
Ted Myers
Clayton Randall
Brooks Weisblat


Elements of Inquiry Science

Notice and Wonder.

Begin with a phenomenon that strikes the group as interesting. Share and explore your existing knowledge and wonderings. Select initial aspects of interest for possible investigation.

During last summer's institute the teachers at Avocado noticed that there was very little information or resources on the World Wide Web concerning the Everglades

It was at this time the teachers decided that they would like to do a resource on the Everglades. After all, the Everglades is considered to be one of the great natural wonders of the world and is practically in Avocado's backyard.

Take Action and Explore.

Engage in a relatively open exploration of phenomenon of interest. Generate additional interesting ideas and wonderings. Make varied observations and raise productive questions to investigate.

The teachers brainstormed to choose which aspects of the Everglades they wanted to explore. They thought about various field trips and experiments that they could do.

As the school year progressed the teachers and students collected various resources - print, and multimedia. They conducted on-line research. They arranged field trips and field work that explored the various habitats. They interviewed various people who lived or worked in the Everglades. They took pictures and videos of animals and other aspects that interested them. They conducted classroom activities that supported ideas or concepts of the Everglades. Many teachers went to workshops about the Everglades conducted by the National Park Service.

Focused Exploration.

Plan and carry out focused investigations around productive questions. Keep track of and communicate your results. Work to develop meaningful "abstractions" from your results.

The result of all the research, field work and experiences of the Everglades is this Everglades resource unit produced by the teachers and students of Avocado Elementary school.

Extending Understanding

Do further explorations, investigations and abstraction, but at a deeper level which builds upon your earlier results and extends understanding.

This is basically an informational, rather than an inquiry-based, unit. This is for several reasons: (1) a straightforward presentation of information was easiest as Avocado's teachers were novices to the Internet; (2) this resource is just the first in a series of Everglades-related resources. Please return to the Everglades resource during the 1996-97 school year to track the addition of spaces for inquiry.


For further information

Please contact Carlyn Little.

Produced by students and
teachers at Avocado Elementary

 Miami Museum of Science

 Museum of Science, Inc./Science Learning Network
 Science Learning Network

 ©1997 Museum of Science, Inc. (Miami, Florida)