Tuesday, April 25
Potato planting for the Kindergardens. They will also look closely at Earth worms and visit the Snake and Turtle Garden.
Can you help?
Room 107: 8:30 a.m.
Room 108: 9:15 a.m.
Room 105: 11:30 a.m.
On Wednesday, April 26, 5th Grade Room 310 is off for their final Mighty Acorns trip to Sauganash, their 9th in a three-year run. The subject of their trip is "The Pressure's On". It is a "game" simulation where each student is assigned an organism: fish, insect, bird, mammal, etc and given some information about it's needs, habitat requirements and status as Weedy (invasive), Conservative (rare and high quality), or intermediate. The weeds included House Sparrows, zebra mussels, cockroaches and Norway Rats. The Conservative include Hines Emerald Dragon Fly, Blanding's Turtle, Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid and American Lotus. (and many more in each category). The students set up a graph with five steps up to Thrive" and five steps down to "Extinction".
Then I read out randomly sorted "event" cards taken from news papers over the years. They include events like "Farmer removes 10 acres of remnant woodland to plant soy beans", or "Students visit the Forest Preserve to gather rare native seed". What ever the event, the students have to think about its ramifications for their species: will it help the species thrive, drive it towards extinction, or have some intermediate effect. This is not always intuitive, but after a while the students start to understand how destruction of a natural area and replacement with a cultivated field could, in fact, impact the Rainbow darter, Blanding's turtle, Ruby Crowned Kinglets or a Heelsplitter clam. Everything is inter-related. After 15 or 20 "events", organisms begin to approach the thresholds: Thrive and Extinction. In one scenario the creatures that get to Thrive include the cockroach, rats, bur dock, common plantain and house sparrow. Approaching extinction are the orchids, and rare frogs and birds.
It is a harrowing outcome, the point of which is: the content of these event cards is up to us. Will we limit the damage, and help create conditions for bio-diversity, or carry on in a direction that causes these beautiful creatures to disappear forever ?
It's up to us. Truly.
Meet at the Fish tank at 9:00. Bus leaves at 9:30, back by 1:15 p.m.
Pack a picnic lunch. We will be pulling invasive weeds.
Thursday, April 27, 5th Grade Room 304 will be doing the same trip described above. Please join us for this wonderful outing.