Muddling through the blogosphere

NAESP Grant – Bringing field journaling into the classroom and community


Just got the call from A3WP colleague Lesley McKillop to check the list of winners for the 2010 NAESP grant…We’re on it: Prairie Elementary’s Bird Chasers Project!

The grant will provide a set of field glasses and cameras to Lesley’s 4th graders. Last week, the students embarked on a year-long field journaling project that will connect science, art, and writing. The video below will give you a window into the genre of field journaling – and the students’ first steps in becoming experts on the plants and animals native to their school yard and their region.

9-28-2010 12-38-13 PM

The students will also be connecting with the National Writing Project‘s Voices on the Gulf project, sharing their local bird and watershed stories with a national audience of environmentally concerned educators and classrooms. They are currently becoming experts on the “misunderstood crow,” and will be soon start tracking migratory birds out of the Gulf Coast.

The grant will allow Lesley’s Title 1 classroom to extend bird tracking and field journaling into the community. Parents, grandparents, and guardians will be able to check out field glasses and cameras over the weekend and contribute to West Coast observations on the impact of the BP oil spill.

Although the school is located in a high-poverty neighborhood, it’s also in the heart of the Sacramento flyway – rich in an array of local and migratory birds that nest within its confines.  With field journals, field glasses, cameras and an Internet connection, this group of 4th graders will gain – and share – an understanding of global citizenship, becoming, I predict,  future biologists and botanists on the way.

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