Fourth and Fifth grade students at ASCEND learned about the fragility of a local urban watershed and considered how human activities can be both destructive and restorative. This expedition drew content from science and history and learning was expressed mainly through art and writing. As a culminating task, student docents led families and other community members on a tour of the visible products of their learning. These included botanical drawings and research writing highlighting native plants found in the Sausal Creek watershed. Students reflected on their role as community members and have seen how real world problems are solved through collaboration, perseverance, and compassion.
We realized that all the smaller process steps along the way to publishing the field guide were also essential products for students to use as launching points for their docent tours during our exposition of student learning. Aside from the final art and research for the field guide, students presented writing, reflections, and art from field trips and classroom activities. Additionally, we were pleased that students had the opportunity to educate the local community on the delicate nature of human impact on our natural environments. Students and the school community benefited by becoming advocates for responsible choices and stewardship of the environment. Ultimately, they learned that their voices truly matter and can make a difference.
Everybody that saw my work was very surprised that someone as young as me had so much stuff to show and that made me realize that all of my hard work really paid off.
I learned that people can make change for good. For example, Friends of Sausal Creek are trying to grow native plants and plant them back in Sausal Creek.
To learn more visit efcps.org/our-schools/ascend/