It's amazing what you notice when you look closely enough. Fibrous roots might have little macro-invertebrates clinging to the dense tangle. A fallen leaf might divulge evidence of a hungry caterpillar. There are more shades of green in a square meter of bushes than exist in your entire wardrobe.
With "Finding Urban Nature" (F.U.N.) our third graders discover the world of our schoolyard habitat. F.U.N. is a partnership with the Seattle Audubon Society. During the 5 weeks of the project, our 3rd graders spend time outside to learn about the living and non-living things in our urban school environment. We started off with a general examination and classification of different elements. In one task, they needed to find 5 different pieces of evidence of a living animal. In another, they collected stones with different textures. Taken all together, it was a fantastic way of learning how to focus on a specific category, slow down, and open our senses.
Other lessons in the F.U.N. project focus on plants and root systems, spiders, and birds.
Three Hazel Wolf 6th graders turn a basic poster project into a multi-faceted anti-pollution campaign.
When I asked the kids in my Intro to Environmental Science class to critique several public service posters and then create their own, I didn't expect the launch of a new public relations firm. But Sofia G., Samantha G., and Pacifica D. took the task on as a challenge. As we learned about the problem of nonpoint source pollution in urban watersheds, they believed that the battle wasn't lost. They knew that 6th graders in Seattle, Washington weren't powerless in the face of this problem. They got excited about the chance to teach kids around our school and people in our community that all of us can either contribute to the problem, or we can take a lot of steps towards defeating it.
Finally, they found out that I could provide them with a website building program. I set them up with an account, and they created their first website: www.knowwheretheygo.weebly.com
Please take a moment to look at the pics here, check out their site, and tell them here what you think. I should point out that this was a very short assignment. They had 2 days in class to work on it, and they took time at home to research, create more items, and craft their website.
Fantastic work, girls! You have the power to change the world.
We are a Kindergarten to 8th grade public school in Seattle, Washington.