River Montessori Charter

Teachers: Deanna Peake, Lisa Hartman, Emily Miyano, Roxanne Urry
Subject: Science
Grade: 3
ollaborators: Sonoma County Water Agency (Steelhead in the Classroom), Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility

Essential Question: How do fish, bird, and invertebrate species utilize the various habitats of the watershed geography throughout their life cycles and how do people, who also depend on the watershed, protect and care for it?


Project Summary

All third level students at River Montessori will meet once a week from January to May.  As a whole group through various presentations, experiments, and other activities they will learn about the Petaluma River watershed and watershed geography in general; the nature of water itself and how the water cycle works on our planet; how people use water and water treatment in our area. Once they have some of this background, students will organize themselves into “expert groups” of about 4 students each to research specific aspects of salmon, native birds, and benthic macroinvertebrates completing their life cycles in the watershed. Students will generate written reports of their research which will include their understanding of how these animals are interconnected with each other and the nonliving aspects of their habitats. Each group will choose and organize games, art projects, or other activities to teach the other students at River about their animals in the watershed. Our culminating event will be a Watershed Community Day at River, with all school families and greater community invited to see student displays and enjoy student-led nature walks, scavenger hunts, games and activities. Students will be empowered as the caretakers and teachers right now and in the future of the watershed. The overall challenge is for students to help the community understand that all creatures, including humans, are interconnected and we need to care for each other.

Download Curriculum


By River Montessori Charter School, 2018