Curriculum Highlights

Key Learning Objectives: 

-Learn about local and global watersheds and their connection to global climate
-Learn how to use science note booking to record observations in the field
-Learn how to collect data in the field
-Learn practices for mitigating the negative effects of climate change
-Learn how to prepare for and to present learnings and recommendations to a public audience

Fieldwork Activities

  • 3 Bioblitzes on the McNear campus
  • Fall, Winter, and Spring observations of Thompson Creek
  • Removal of Invasive Species from Thompson Creek
  • Thompson Creek Cleanup
  • Visit to Bay Model
  • Visit to Oaks to Acorns Discovery Center at Tolay Regional Park
  • Warm Springs Fish Hatchery trout release

Schools: McNear Elementary

Teachers: Kirsten Franklin

Classes: 4th Grade

Collaborators: STRAW, NOAA Climate Stewards Program

Overview: Students will explore the question "What environmental connections can we make between our local watershed and the Peruvian Amazon watershed?" An overarching theme of, "Exploring global and local environments- past, present, and future" will guide fourth graders' comparative investigations of their local watershed and part of the world's largest watershed, the Peruvian Amazon river and rainforest. Connections will be made across the curriculum to explore how the watersheds are similar, different, and interconnected; especially with regard to global climate. This will include having students gather base-line data of the section of Thompson Creek that borders one side of McNear School's campus. The baseline data will be used in the future to develop and implement a climate-smart restoration of this section of the creek that will then open up future access for McNear students to engage in expanded outdoor and science learning.

CA Curriculum Standards Addressed

Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.

By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers for changes in a landscape over time to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time. 4-ESS1-1

Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation. 4-ESS2-1

Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features. 4-ESS2-2

Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans. 4-ESS3-2


Student Work

Video made by Kirsten Franklin's students at McNear Elementary School. Presented at the 2017 Student Showcase