In this short unit of study, kindergarten students will learn about adaptations and behaviors that both domesticated and wild animals implement to protect themselves and their young. This unit is a series of 3 video lessons and 2 field-based lessons.
The resources and project outline are the collaborative efforts of the Chain Exploration Center Grades 5 & 6 teachers and a FIELD Edventures educator. The goals of the project were for students to take civic action on environmental issues of local importance. Additionally, the teachers wanted students to become familiar with the four habitat areas, and observable species present in each area. It was decided that conducting a bioblitz across 4 days–one in each area–would provide students with data that would be the basis for individual and small group investigative questions, issue definition and investigation, and a proposal for conservation, protection, and/or restoration of natural resources, habitats, or species of Wisconsin. Students then presented their proposals to their state senator in a visit to the Wisconsin State Capitol.
What follows is a collection of lessons on soils that supported a larger inquiry-based project by 7th and 8th grade students on food security in the Waupaca area community. The project was designed to be implemented using the large community garden as a context for learning. This community garden is a showcase feature of the Chain Exploration Center, a 4K-8 school, and, through the efforts of students, teachers, families, and community volunteers, has grown, and donated, a staggering amount of fresh produce for local food pantries. Students of the Chain of Exploration Center were fortunate to work with the nutrient management specialist of the Land and Water Conservation Office of Waupaca County for soil sampling and analysis. This community member provided soil probes and the expertise in collection of samples. He also sent the samples on to the lab and assisted in the interpretation of the results.
In this short unit of study, four-year-old kindergarten students learn to differentiate and identify common domesticated animals and local wild animals by sight and sound. This unit is a series of 3 video lessons and 2 field-based lessons.
Students in Grades 3 & 4 at Chain Exploration Center developed an understanding of the important role that pollinators play in human food systems as well as in native habitats. Students also learned about the stressors, many of them human-influenced, that are associated with the decline in pollinator populations. Students also learned about ways that humans can improve pollinator habitat. The culmination of student learning was an environmental stewardship project: the installation of a pollinator garden on the school grounds. What follows is an outline of the project process and a discussion of the resources that were used.
Students in Grades 1 & 2 at Chain Exploration Center developed an understanding of the maple syrup production and its importance as an agribusiness. Students also learned about plant structures and their role in photosynthesis and the ecosystem services of sugar maple trees. The culmination of student learning was a project showcase in the form of a Maple Tree Museum to which parents and community members were invited. What follows is an outline of key place-based lessons and experiences that supported students’ learning.