This lesson is for kindergarteners as they study the needs for survival of plants and animals. The students gather information about an invasive species that changes the soil so that plants have a more difficult time getting nutrients. They learn what they can do to help in preventing the spread of these species. Pursuits addressed: Identity: This lesson addressed the 'who you desire to be' part of Identity. The scientist that is spotllighted in this video is a non-traditional scientist who is African and studies worms. Students who are of African descent or African American and any student who may feel that the doors to science careers may be closed to them due to the color of their skin, may feel encouraged by this video to nurture the possibility of being a scientist. The fact that this scientist studies something that many students may be interested in may foster new ideas that scientists can be people who spend a lot of time outdoors looking at interesting things. Intelligence: This lesson gives students real-world knowledge and some tools to make a difference in their community with this knowledge. It has immediate implications in the students' lives.
This series of 5 high-quality, standards-aligned, inquiry-based activities and two environmental STEM challenge activities have been field-tested by kindergarten students and families of Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science during Safer At Home orders. These activities encourage students to use natural areas around their homes and in their neigbhorhoods as they improve their science observation and reasoning skils as they explore the science of pushes and pulls in nature. The materials used are ones generally available at home and the activites require little preparation on the part of caregivers. Created as a part of a WISELearn OER Innovation project, Connect, Explore, and Engage: Using the Environment as the Context for Science Learning was a collaboration of the Wequiock Children's Center for Environmental Science and the Wisconsin Green Schools Network. One of the goals of the project was to create standards-aligned lessons that utilize the outdoor spaces of the school (as well as those of the students' homes). Each section of this resource is an individual activity. While each activity builds on the previous ones, it is possible to use them individually.The title image was used with permission and is courtesy of Joe Riederer.