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Spring SAVY 2017, Day 2- Environmental Explorations: Dig It!

Posted by on Monday, February 6, 2017 in Grade K, SAVY.

Dear Parents:

We had a great day learning about natural resources, conservation, preservation, continued understanding of change as a universal concept, what a geologist does, how natural resources are interconnected in the environment, and environmental implications of pollution and over use of natural resources (wasting and depleting natural resources). These topics are difficult to master in one lesson, as you well understand, so we will be continuing to learn about these topics through our weeks together!

We began our morning with an investigation of wind force. Our investigation question was: What effect does wind energy force have on the energy power, speed and change? Students tried to blow a feather which was attached to a cardboard roll that had a long string inside running through it, which was attached at both ends to two chairs. After attempting to blow the feather/roll from one end to another, we repeated the same activity using a fan. Students saw and talked about the increase in energy power and speed as the force of wind increased. Students also recalled how the wind we felt outside could change its force and cause a change in the effect on the outside environment. We also talked about wind power energy, such as wind mills.

Next, we watched a Brain Pop Jr video about natural resources and discussed how to distinguish natural resources from man-made. We got our journals and went outside to explore and investigate where we could identify and distinguish between natural and man-made resources. This was also a great opportunity to ask students questions if they saw any man-made objects that might have been made from natural resources. At first most were still a bit perplexed about how to distinguish between natural and man-made, but the more we observed, investigated and look for characteristics to use too identify and classify these objects, the more everyone grasped the concepts. We debriefed in the classroom when we returned and recorded our learning on a chart.

We then read a great book called: A Drop of Water, to begin to understand how water makes its way from higher landforms, such as mountains all the way to meadows and how it touches and all living things as it travels. We also discussed how all living things depend on water resources for survival. The concept was how living things are interconnected with water resources. We then discussed conservation and preservation.

Finally, students began to investigate types of soil, and we described the physical characteristics of these different types of soil. We also did the same with a variety of rocks from our rock sample kit. We listened to a special message that I had “received” on my phone (husbands are great for this type of involvement), from a geologist located on Queen Anne’s Island in Virginia. The geologist introduced a devastating problem that was impacting the environment with soil, water and air pollution occurring! Students were enlisted to help them solve the problem. It also launched our final project, which will be the design of Preservation Park for Queen Anne’s Island.

Here are some suggested questions and discussion topics you can have this week if you have time, to enrich and extend our learning from this week:

  • Ask students to analyze their hometown and see if they can identify similar pollution issues and environmental concerns like the ones on Queen Annes’s Island. What evidence do they see that leads them to their conclusions?
  • Ask students identify items in their home that are derived from natural resources? Can they identify which natural resources are used in these items? Also can students distinguish between natural resources and man-made resources in their home and neighborhood (maybe they could even record what they find too share with the class next Saturday).
  • Why is it important to conserve natural resources? What can they do to help?

Thank you parents. I look forward to our class next week! Have a wonderful week!

Sincerely,
Karen Tyson
Dig It Instructor