Place-based Science for Educators: Module 2




Part 3: Assignments

Please complete the assignments below prior to our live class on Friday, July 14 at 3:00PM.

Assignment A: Second Site Visit and Wonder Journal Entry

It’s time to return to the wonder journal site you chose in Module 1!  Follow the directions below or the printable PDF of directions HERENote that if you want to try out one of the apps below, I’d recommend installing on wifi at home before you go to your spot.

Step 1: Grab a notebook and any other gear you need, then head back to the same place you visited last time, starting with the spot that marks the “center” of your site.

Step 2: Spend at least 20 minutes exploring, starting at your center point.  Meander around with no agenda.  Write observations, questions, even emotions as you wander.  Be ready to share discoveries and wonderings in class. 

Step 3: Choose at least one living thing that intrigues you.  While our focus in this module has been on trees, you may choose herbaceous plants, mammals, birds, mushrooms — anything that catches your eye.  Attempt to identify this creature (if you don’t already know it), either in the field or back at home.  For field identification, apps like iNaturalist, Seek (for any living things), PlantNet (for trees and herbs), and Merlin (for birds, including sound ID) can be helpful.  For amphibians and reptiles, this website is helpful. My friend Teage O’Connor has put together free printable PDF guides for trees and amphibians.

Step 4: In your Course Notebook Google Slideshow, create a one-slide Species Account to share what you encountered.  Please include:

  • A photo or sketch of your species, ideally one that you created on site (i.e. not Googled). 
  • The common and scientific name of your species.
  • Key features that would allow one to identify this species
  • Habitat where this species is typically found
  • Life history (reproduction strategies, life span; food preferences for animals)
  • Fun or fascinating fact (recommended)

*To answer some of the questions above, you’ll probably need to do a little research.  There are many great information resources on species online.  For trees and herbaceous plants, the basic search on the left side of this page is helpful; this page is also good.  For birds, consider this page.  And for amphibians and reptiles, try this website.

Assignment B: Place Plan Initial Ideas

One big goal of our course is for you to develop a plan to integrate place into your classroom.  This could be a field trip, ongoing project near your school, an assignment students work on at home, or a mix.  The key is to choose something exciting to you, but realistic. 

The first step here is to generate a few ideas.  Before we meet on Friday, please:

1) Take a look at our Place Plan template, make a copy with your name in the updated title, and share it (set to “anyone with the link can comment”) via our Google Sheet.

2) Complete Stage 1 (Big Picture and Brainstorming) of your Place Plan.

3) Share one or (at most) two of your favorite initial ideas from your Place Plan in your Google Slideshow.  We will likely spend a few minutes presenting these to one another, so you may want to consider how you want to share your idea(s) clearly and/or creatively.