Making Connections is a compilation of activities that focuses on introducing students to some of the knowledge and skills required for environmentally-responsible citizenship. While each curriculum based activity can stand alone, the resource is designed to support the entire school spending an afternoon outdoors engaged in environmental learning adventures. The activities will help students identify the connections between the Earth and their everyday lives. They will also contribute to the development of ecological literacy as students learn about ecosystems and environmental issues. The first five activities are best suited for grade one to four students. They include:
- Connecting with our Actions: A Million Year Picnic - students examine how long it takes certain items to decompose and based on that information, they have an opportunity to make their own choices about what is best to take on a picnic.
- Building bird feeders with recycled materials - Students will use recycled materials to make a bird feeder, reinforcing the idea that by reusing objects, rather than buying new ones, we can generate less garbage.
- Food Chains: The Sun Powers All! - Through acting and singing, the students will understand the connections between the components of a food chain and realize that all energy originates with the sun.
- Connecting with Habitats: Home Sweet Home - The activities consists of charades, games and riddles which give students an understanding of the concept of habitat, what animals need to survive, and the importance of preserving habitat.
- Creating a Mini-forest – Students work together in small groups to create a large classroom mural of a forest, thus becoming familiar with the components of a forest ecosystem.
- Easy-to-implement activities that provide an outdoor learning experience.
- Each activity has allotted time for reflective discussion, with questions listed in the activity outline.
- The resource provides suggestions for future classroom projects/activities. Teachers are asked to consider incorporating these extensions into their classroom work.
- The activities engage students in student-centered cooperative activities
- Encourages students to identify their connections to the Earth
Recommendation of how and where to use it
This resource can be used to support elementary science outcomes in an outdoor setting. The activities are especially appropriate for grades one to four. The resource also includes opportunities for reflection, discussion and journal writing.
- Community-Building and Participation
- Appreciating the Natural World