Green Initiatives across the Curriculum

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Green Initiatives Across the Curriculum

re-K and Kindergarten Students use the school yard to investigate apple trees, study and compare leaves and other trees, look at plants, pick pumpkins, simulate using the land like the Native Americans, discover insects and their affects on local plant and crop grows, and even learn about pollination. They also grow and release tadpoles as they visit the campus stream. They visit a nearby farm every year and also the Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.
First Grade Students vitis the Chesapeake Environmental Center and study the bay, animal habitats, and oysters. In Reading, they read the story of Mrs. Prisbee’s glass village, built entirely from recycled items from a junkyard in CA. First graders discuss citizenship and the importance of recycling. In Science, they study penguins and birds, their environments and characteristics. They conduct a nature/bird watch walk and log sightings and activities of local birds on campus. A new unit has been implemented in the curriculum about bees.
Second Grade Students work outside and use the campus for making maps in Social Studies. They use the environment to make maps outside as well as tooth molds for a unit about dental hygiene. Second grade students also use pieces of recycled construction paper in many projects and activities. They use the paper in cutout activities, models, and art activities in every subject. Second graders use construction shapes to make a Math Measurement Man, recycled cereal boxes to make card and gift holders during Valentine’s Day, and in other activities during the year. The students are also involved in planting in front of the Primary School building once a year, and cleaning up large sticks and fallen branches on the playground.
Third Grade Students learn about earth science topics, such as Earth’s land and atmosphere, weathering and erosion, fossils, rocks, Earth in space, and much more. They use the environment to look at evidence of weathering and erosion, and create posters with ideas to keep kids from walking over and eroding the grass on campus. Students also use the campus to visit the stream and collect rock samples to compare to other rocks found away from water. We discuss the atmosphere and affects we have on its pollution and health. The third grade homeroom teacher Mrs. Palese and her students are involved in tending to and taking care of a gravesite on campus. They rake leaves and plant flowers to help keep it clean. They have also build birdhouses for the campus and home, and arte involved in planting for Earth Day activities.
Fourth Grade Students learn a unit on energy and electricity. The class conducts a power project where they think of ways they use energy and electricity in their homes every day, and they track their home energy meter for a week. Once they see the results, they complete a Home Energy Inspection Checklist and give themselves a score for how energy efficient they are in their home. They then list ways they can conserve and save on energy and electricity at home as a family. Fourth graders also study renewable sources of energy and use the outdoors to produce a solar powered oven with recycled pizza boxes and look at solar powered toys. They also build model windmills using recycled materials and test them outside. The environment is used to hold a race to calculate students’ speed and velocity. In Language Arts, fourth graders conduct nature walks and a creative writing unit outside where they use the environment to inspire poems and pieces of writing. In Social Studies, students discuss resources and ways to protect them. They specifically focus on the Chesapeake Bay and the importance of protecting the fish and wildlife by using less pesticides and fertilizers on our own properties. The students also learn about Maryland and focus a small portion of that unit on oysters, crabs, pollination of black-eyed Susans and other topics.
Fifth Grade Students study Life Science and attend a STEM class once a week. They use the environment to discover, collect, and study microorganisms in the stream water, observe, grow, and learn about plants, and look at the biotic and abiotic factors that create our own school ecosystem. Students perform water tests on the campus stream and look at its health and importance to local plant and animal life. The fifth grade was also visited by the Zoo Mobile and Echoes of Nature for a presentation on animals and frogs. The students also utilize the Greenhouse structure to grow vegetables, plants, and flowers, and partake in making recycled newspaper and water bottle planters. In STEM, students have used the environment to test and grow bacteria, and learn about bees and the impact of their declining population on pollination and build working models of flowers to attract pollinators. Fifth graders also construct living terrariums out of recycled and collected materials from the school grounds.
Sixth Grade Students have a bird feeder that they fill regularly. They are taught about the birds, how to provide for them, etc. Trinity School also has an after-school club in the spring and fall called the Bird and Nature Club. Sixth graders go around school observing wildlife and plants, and learn how to observe but not disturb the environment. Students build bird houses in the spring, as well as chart, record, and graph various birds in the area for math class.
In Language Arts after reading novels, sixth graders create a cultural quilt. Each student represents a square on the quilt. Bonus points are given for using recycled/reused materials.
Sixth grade students also research, design, and construct water filters. The filters radically reduce the number of pollutants found in collected water samples. Students test the samples for nitrates, nitrites, hardness, chlorine, pH, and dissolved particles. The samples are compared to prior tested controls.
Seventh Grade Students conduct a study of a real world problem about Bottlenose Dolphins washing up on shores around the United States dead or dying. They use this activity to complete research about dolphin deaths related to water quality and pollution causing disease in the dolphins. Seventh graders work to fill in worksheets and test water quality from the campus stream in the science lab. The students then create filters out of recycled materials to filter the stream water and re-test its quality and characteristics. Students also have their own iPad and conduct most of their work online or on the computer/email assignments. This helps to cut back on the amount of paper being printed at school.
Eighth Grade Students read Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli for their summer reading. The setting is in the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern U.S. When students return to school, the research the Sonoran Desert climate, and the plant and animal life there. They create poems and travel brochures based on the information they find. Students also have their own iPads and conduct most of their work online or on the computer/email assignments. This helps to cut back on the amount of paper being printed at school.

All grades also use online textbooks.

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