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Fall 2018 at The Outdoor Classroom:  Water Ecology & the Ecosystem

Bring a class or group of ten or more 1st-6th grade students to the Outdoor Classroom to learn more about water ecology and the ecosystem! Contact Amy.whidbeywatersheds@gmail.com for more information.

The Fall Season runs from September 20th – November 2nd, 2018. A day at the Classroom typically begins around 10am. There are two lessons in the morning, followed by a 20 minute lunch break, and two more lessons in the afternoon. We wrap up so that your students can catch the bus by 1:20 pm.

Classes are filled first come first serve. Please email Amy for availability and to sign your classroom up for a day of lessons!

Reminders for classroom teachers: 

Chaperones: All grades need two chaperones so that each small group has one chaperone in attendance.  We welcome all adults who would like to attend.
Contact Information: UPDATED: Amy McInerney. Amy.WhidbeyWatersheds@Gmail.com. Outdoor Classroom Office:  579-1272. After hours: 360-661-0582 or 221-8837 Mailing Address:  P. O. Box 617, Langley, WA 98260. Physical Address: 7015 Maxwelton Rd, Clinton, 98236
Rain, Nametags & Groups: Second – Sixth grade students need to be divided into two groups. First Grade students need to be divided into four groups.   It is always cooler here so encourage kids to dress in layers. Please have students wear nametags.
 Lunch: We do not have garbage service so we ask that students take their garbage back with them. We have two areas for lunch, the benches in back of the building and the covered picnic area.

Read below for this season’s Curriculum Descriptions, along with applicable education standards: 

  • Along the banks of the Maxwelton Creek, students participate in a hands-on lab where they calculate and measure how much usable water there is on Earth. Students create a water web and experience how changes to the water’s quality impacts all the members of the water web. (Fresh Water on Earth is Limited: ESS2.C: Earth Systems: The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes.) Nearly all of the Earth’s available water is in the ocean. Most fresh water is in glaciers or underground; only a tiny fraction is in streams, lakes, wetlands and the atmosphere.
  • Students will identify factors that impact water quality. Students will identify ways that nature filters water and determine how much filtering it takes to clean a small amount of polluted water. Students will describe ways they can help improve water quality. (Keep it Clean K-2: ESE Standard 1: Ecological, Social, and Economic Systems.) Students develop knowledge of the interconnections and interdependency of ecological, social, and economic systems. They demonstrate understanding of how the health of these systems determines the sustainability of natural and human communities at local, regional, national, and global levels. ESE Standard 3: Sustainability and Civic Responsibility. Students develop and apply the knowledge, perspective, vision, skills, and habits of mind necessary to make personal and collective decisions and take actions that promote sustainability.  
  • Students participate in a simulation activity as land owners and create their own ideal waterfront property. Students will experience how it feels to live downstream from pollutants. Students will recognize that everyone contributes to and is responsible our shared water. Students will identify ways to reduce water pollution and discuss how they could redesign their property’s development with care for the watershed and future generations in mind. (Watershed Contributions 3-5: ESE Standard 2: The Natural and Built Environment.) Students engage in inquiry and systems thinking and use information gained through learning experiences in, about, and for the environment to understand the structure, components, and processes of natural and human-built environments. Standard 2 encompasses thinking critically about how the human-built environment can be designed or modified to promote ecological health and better serve quality of life for all humans.
  • Students will consider how salmon need different habits with a watershed at different stages on their life.  They’ll discover through a role playing game how salmon populations have decreased impacting the food web and come up with ways that humans through change can increase salmon populations and strengthen the food web. (Salmon cycling through the watershed:  LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience.) When the environment changes in ways that affect a place’s physical characteristics, temperature, or availability of resources, some organisms survive and reproduce, other move to new locations, yet others move into the transformed environment, and some die. LS4.D: Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.
  • To bring it all together, students create an ecosystem art piece that depicts a key component of the Outdoor Classroom ecosystem. Students will explain how the component they choose might help support the ecosystem through filtering the water, supplying oxygen, providing a home or food to the organisms that live here and play a role in keeping the cycle of life going. (Ecosystem Art: LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience.) When the environment changes in ways that affect a place’s physical characteristics, temperature, or availability of resources, some organisms survive and reproduce, other move to new locations, yet others move into the transformed environment, and some die. LS4.D: Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.
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