Examples of Systems Thinking

Fourth graders at Palms Elementary School identify, analyze, and diagram the systems that influence a story’s protagonist in order to gain a deeper understanding of a character (e.g., their relationships to other characters, institutions, their motivations, backstory, etc.)

Common Core State Standard: ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).

A Kindergarten teacher at Palms Elementary School uses the students’ interest in insects to launch a systems analysis of the interrelationship of butterflies with the plants they feed on. With their teacher’s assistance, they research and plant a garden to attract butterflies, observe and discuss anatomic systems, then craft diagrams that demonstrate how butterflies and plants relate with other systems (e.g., the water cycle, food chains, the solar system, etc.).

Next Generation Science Standard: K-LS1-1
Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

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