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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Naturalist Study: Today's Adventure



"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." - John Muir

Recently, Dr. Kaat Vander Straeten, a local environmental activist, Green Team member, Lydia Maria Child Award recipient, and Wayland Transition founder came to our classroom to teach students about how interconnected we are with all living things. She said, "When you touch one, you touch all," and then she demonstrated to students how this interconnectedness exists in our world.

Today students will have the chance to hike in nature, and to see first hand how this interconnectedness exists as they learn about river/wetland habitats and the organisms that live there. This investigation is supported by a SUASCO Watershed grant from Nyanza.

The students will move from place to place with their "Amazing Adventure" team to explore a forest habitat, look for and observe organisms at turtle lookout, study geography from a tower perch, catch and investigate water creatures by ponding, test water quality, read and write river poetry, look up, out, and down in specific locations on the path, sketch, color, and ask questions--lots of questions.

Why are we taking this trip?

We are taking the trip for many reasons including the following:
  • We want to develop a love and respect for our natural world in children.
  • We want to foster stewardship for our natural lands.
  • We want students to experience the interconnectedness of all living things.
  • We are teaching the science standards set forth by our state.
  • We want children to know and understand that learning happens in all kinds of places, not just a classroom.
  • We want to feed the passion and interest of our students who will become future naturalists, biologists, and environmentalists.
  • We want to match knowledge, concept, and skill with real-time experiential learning.
How will we do this?

Students will walk throughout the refuge with a guide. At each stop, they'll investigate a new area with purposeful study--study led by a standards-based guide: