Lesson Plan #:AELP-ECL000
Author: Loretta Pollock, Swanson Elementary, Palmer, AK Date: May 1994
Grade Level(s): 1, 2
OVERVIEW: In today’s world of high consumption it is important to keep people in touch with the earth and its diverse life forms. As long as one’s senses are involved, much can be learned by even the youngest child. If we allow children the opportunity to experience nature, and let them see our own enthusiasm, they will be on their way to a lifelong appreciation of our natural surroundings. If we give them direction in their observations, they may become the natural scientists and caretakers of tomorrow’s world.
The purpose of this woods and pond unit is to involve children with nature in a living, experiencing way. The activities are designed to give children a hands-on approach to learning about their natural surroundings. Following the seasons through a multitude of changes throughout three quarters of the year gives continuity to the unit and increases their awareness of the important part that nature plays in our lives. Children who have the opportunity to be involved in this way gain knowledge and show their appreciation for the multitude of life forms in their care for the area in which they are encountered.
After completion of the activities in this unit, children will be able to demonstrate the following skills and understandings:
ACTIVITIES: These activities are only a few which can be used to involve children in nature in a real way. Instead of teaching an ecosystem unit, plant unit, or animal unit in isolation, the use of a local natural area ties all of these things together in a meaningful way for the children. It also gives the science curriculum continuity over time. Hopefully they will spark your imagination and you will come up with lots of other ideas for involving children with our natural world.
All listed above.
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:
This unit involves children in learning activities that require the use of all their senses. Taking them out into nature is the most likely way to insure their learning and appreciation of this wonderful world, our earth. Collect their art, writing and record keeping and display it at your school’s science fare, hang it in the hallways, decorate you classroom with it. The children’s new knowledge will show up in creative art and writing projects, and all across the curriculum.
These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center’s Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops.