Living Off the Landby: Peg Dickerson and Maryellen Gamberg

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Fourth-grade students at Cutchogue East Elementary School in Cutchogue, New York learned about dependence on natural resources for survival on a visit to Downs Farm Preserve at Fort Corchaug. This is a slice of preserved land just eight minutes beyond the classroom walls. Its inhabitants date back to the first hunting and gathering settlers—the Algonquians. In this integrated inquiry-based outing, students constructed an understanding of the natural resources Native Americans used to survive on their land and explored related science concepts such as decomposition, the water cycle, and symbiotic plant relationships.

  • Elementary
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  • on Tue May 10, 2011 6:28 PM

The authors describe a field trip to a nearby nature reserve that has a connection with previous Native Americans in their area. During the field trip they encourage students to review science topics they have learned, to discuss connections between science and other subjects like history and language arts, and how they encouraged students to think about other cultures that lived in their area. I recommend this article because they do an excellent job of discussing ways to connect a field trip to multiple subjects and to follow through with learning experiences that took place. I would have liked to have had information on ways they prepared students for the learning on the trip. Still, the trip described probably fits into standards for many different states (I know that it is appropriate for the grade described in the state I live in) with modifications to suit the local environment/ cultural history.

Tina Harris  (Fairmount, IN)
Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN)

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