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It Affects Us All!

Page history last edited by suzieboss@... 12 years, 7 months ago

      Project Overview ~ Form courtesy of Buck Institute for Education (www.bie.org)                   page 1


Team members:

Please enter your Name, Email, Title, Grade, and Location

Jennifer Ower (uclatig@gmail.com)

Marsha Fischer (Mirrafischer@gmail.com)

Renee Edwards (neonlotus@msn.com)

Kristin Hoins (khoins@gmail.com) -  4-6 Technology & Enrichment

Shirley Farrell (sfarrell@alsde.edu) K-12 Gifted Ed

Vickie Weiss (vweiss4037@aol.com)

Wayne Tuttle (jenwayt@gmail.com)

Mansi Juneja (mansi@thenoblesleague.com)

Paula Rushia (paula.rushia12@gmail.com)

Gail Desler (gdesler@gmail.com)

Kelyn Dewar (dewar.kelyn@gmail.com

Lori Smith (lasmith@fortlewis.edu)

Libby (libbyatterberry@gmail.com) 

Tracy Hanson (btracyh@earthlink.net) - K-8 Administrator/teacher - So. Acworth, NH

Sue Ackley (sackley@murrieta.k12.ca.us)

Vincent Eisman (vincenteisman@gmail.com)                                                                                                                      


5th grade


5th Grade





5th Grade 


4  & 5th 





4th grade


4th grade


San Bernardino, CA  Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Bronx, NY

Telluride, CO




Brentwood, NH 

Hopefully Silverton CO! 





Oakdale, CA

Murrieta, CA

Name of Project:


Your Environment, Your Life

4/5 Outline



4 to 6 weeks 


Language Arts and Science

Grade Level:

4th-6th grade

Other Subject Areas to Be Included:

Social Studies, Math, Technology


Project Idea

Summary of the challenge, investigation, scenario, problem, or issue:

Human Impact/Maintaining the Balance:

The BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has reminded us that humans can cause great harm to our world and ourselves.  There are many man-made and natural disasters that negatively affect our environments every year.  By affecting our environments, they affect us. 

Driving Question

What environmental problems does your community face, how do they affect you, impact the environment, and how can you help?

Content and Skills Standards to be addressed:

-Living organisms depend on one another and on their environment for survival.

-Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations.

-Water moves throughout our world (Consider Flush by Carl Hiassen and Bag It the Documentary).

-Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material.

-Past events effect us now.

-Researching a topic (information literacy: notetaking, determining reputable sources, paraphrasing, crediting sources, using search engines...)

-Using technology (Search Engines, Netiquette, Social Networking, Blogging...)

-Present findings on a topic using technology (ideas: persuasive letter writing, blog discussion, glogster posters, podcasts, imovies, voicethread)

-Systems can influence/change other systems

-Individuals with economic power should shoulder responsibility for their actions. (This "big idea" can be used to guide students towards service learning/advocacy.)












21st Century Skills explicitly taught and assessed (T+A) or encouraged (E) by project work, but not taught or assessed:




Global Awareness/Environmental Literacy











Critical Thinking and Problem Solving







Culminating Products & Performances



Create a service project to help deal with the environmental issue your community faces.  Your service project can raise awareness through a poster, flyer, podcast, or video.


Your service project can take action to prevent or clean-up the issue.  For instance, a beach/river clean-up, testing water quality, replanting trees, etc...


Your service project can be a combination of action and awareness.  Educate people to raise funds for the environmental cause.

The service project should explain how this problem effects you and the community.




Develop service learning project to track direct impact of oil spill in your own community via a Backyard Bird Watchers Alert - connecting through Citizen Science site/concept. Tap into ebirds, All About Birds, Nest Watch, Bird Sleuth and other sites shared during Monday webinar..


According to news reports in NH: "The BP spill also is altering the food web by providing vast food for bacteria that consume oil and gas, allowing them to flourish."  How is the food web being altered and how is it affecting those of us who live so far from the spill?


Draft: Group PBL Project Rubric


 Presentation Audience

  Presentation Audience:





   City Council

   Local Environmental Group






Draft: Hoot Book Project Rubric

Draft: Animal Article Rubric





Other: Collaborating Classrooms

      Project Overview ~ Form courtesy of Buck Institute for Education (www.bie.org)                     page 2


Entry Event to

launch inquiry

and engage students:

Show pictures and images of the Gulf Oil Spill.  http://www.teachingscience20.com/2010/07/gulf-oil-spill-and-project-based-learning/  or http://wsre.org/OilSpill/teachers-students-kids.asp and journal about reactions to images.

Do lab experiment that shows effects of oil spills on the environment.  http://www.fi.edu/tfi/activity/earth/earth-2.html 

Read Aloud The Everglades by Jean Craighead George (Great for Florida or common text)   


Formative Assessments

(During Project)



Practice Presentations

Journal/Learning Log



Preliminary Plans/Outlines/Prototypes





Rough Drafts

Concept Maps



Online Tests/Exams



Project blog to connect all participating sites



Summative Assessments

(End of Project)

Written Product(s), with rubric:


Pamphlet or Brochure to educate others about protecting our water supply or habitats.




Other Product(s) or Performance(s), with



Oral Presentation, with rubric


Peer Evaluation


Multiple Choice/Short Answer Test




Essay Test




PSAs via PhotoStory3, MovieMaker, iMovie, etc.

Pages Magazine Page (Expository 6 Traits)

Gameboards, Comic Strips, Songs, News Report




Resources Needed

On-site people, facilities:



Computer, Internet Access, Cameras


Reading Options:

Flush by Carl Hiaasen; Hoot by Carl Hiaasen; Scat by Carl Hiaasen; The Talking Earth by Jean Craighead George, Alane Ferguson National Park Mysteries, The Beasties by William Sleator, Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

STC Ecosytems Kit

Community resources:

Visit a wetland habitat:

      * VINS: Vermont Institute of Natural Science :   New England’s premier avian wildlife rehabilitation clinic - nice tie-in to the previously mentioned bird sites.


Reflection Methods

(check all that will be used)

Journal/Learning Log


Focus Group



Whole-Class Discussion



Fishbowl Discussion



Survey We can create a survey to evaluate this project as a whole.  One for the teachers, students and maybe parents. (Survey Monkey)




For sites with capability (bandwidth, videoconference camera), connect informally or via MegaConferenceJr to compare local stories.






Comments (30)

Kristin Hoins said

at 9:40 pm on Jul 19, 2010

I'm really interested in joining this group as a technology teacher supporting classroom teachers in integrating technology. I'd like to suggest that we create a central blog or ning in which students and teachers in intermediate school grades 3-6 share their resources, learning process, research journey, and final projects in a setting in which they can collaborate, communicate, comment, discuss and share. I'd be happy to set up the central Blog/Ning for us all to use. Let me know what you think.

Jennifer Ower said

at 11:55 pm on Jul 19, 2010

Kristin..I think that would be great! Also, feel free to add yourselve to the collaborator list. Although I have put in a lot of stuff, I hope that it is seen as a springboard for other ideas. These were just my thoughts. I hope that they will lead to a discussion on wher ewe go form here.

shirfarr said

at 4:47 pm on Jul 20, 2010

I have joined this group because you have read my mind on project overview and culminating performances and tasks. However, I am writing this as a concept-based unit for gifted students in grades 3-5. When complete, I will add the unit to a different template for concept-based.

Mansi Juneja said

at 1:46 am on Jul 21, 2010

Hi, I would like to join this group as a counsellor as how to bring in all students tigether and encourage them to work in collaboration with different activities. Let me know if that will be good with you?

Tania Ash said

at 6:17 am on Jul 21, 2010

Hi there,
I would like to have my 5th grade students participate in this group. Our Science standards require us to focus on the environmental impact of using resources (like oil) but I'm sure to we can have it fit in somehow.
Do you have room for one more?

Jennifer Ower said

at 6:59 am on Jul 21, 2010

Anyone can join this group..go ahead and add your name.
Also, the project outline is not set in stone, but rather a place to start a discussion. I am hoping people will change, edit and discuss.
Shirfarr....can you explain more what you mean by concept-based versus what we are creating.
THanks! :-)

Tracy Hanson said

at 8:46 am on Jul 21, 2010

Mistacres is a virtual school which is working at trying to bring students from around the world together in their learning. I think this project lends itself perfectly to this situation (if I can every figure out how this all works!) I see this as also being helpful for students to look at geographical differences, cultural dependencies, comparing and contrasting like disasters, etc. Using Venn Diagrams for comparison might be a good place to start.

Kristin Hoins said

at 8:58 am on Jul 21, 2010

This group is coming together. It looks great! I'm wondering what access each teacher/student group has to computers and if we could create a Blog/Ning that links the students together during the school year and during their work/learning. I'd be happy to head this up but I don't want to move forward if you all don't think that this would work for you. I visualize a central Blog/Social Network site in which students share their learning, projects, research, links, etc. We could organize the student groups by school but have them sharing, discussing, video conferencing perhaps, chatting. There are so many open source tools for these kids to use including Glogster, PrimaryPad, Wallwisher, as will as the ability to create imovies or podcasts and post to the site. I think though that creating discussion questions and posting these to launch discussion between our students would be meaningful and engaging for the students because they know they have an authentic audience. Can we place all our emails by our names in the project group and try to have a live chat (i.e. google chat) or some forum to be discussing this live? khoins@gmail.com

Jennifer Ower said

at 12:19 pm on Jul 21, 2010

I think a google chat would be great. I do envision having our students share with eachother throughout the process. I would even like to create e-pals so they can share what they are learning, but also about themselves and where they live. If we could set a time sometime this week to do a live chat that woul be great. I posted my e-mail by my name in collaborators, so everyone could do the same. If you don't have a gmail you can get an account easily.

Paula Rushia said

at 4:21 pm on Jul 21, 2010

I'm interested in joining this group. I also teach 5th grade and would like to connect both renewable/nonrenewable resources, along with water quality. Science is the only subject area my teammates and I switch students for, so I have 2 seven-week units of Ecology. I'm not sure how the timing will work with the schedule we create to connect with others live, but my students will def have access to tech to participate in sharing.

Vickie Weiss said

at 5:07 pm on Jul 21, 2010

How do I change something on the page? My name is spelled Vickie.
I am thinking that I would still interested in having teams of students look at a variety of water issues as there are so many. I think I could still participate in any student sharing we might develop.
I am curious about the concept-based format that was mentioned by Shirfarr. How is it different?
I think the national science benchmarks identified in the area of science and technology as ..
Perfectly designed solutions do not exist (8EST2.4)
Technological designs have constraints (8EST2.5)
Technological solutions have intended benefits and unintended consequences (8EST2.6)
These are interestingbenchmarks to me because it shows kids that answers aren't always in a book or on the Internet. They have to be invented...therefore kids need to be problem solvers and STEM education is important

Marsha Fischer said

at 5:29 pm on Jul 21, 2010

Just click on the edit page section Vickie!

Kristin Hoins said

at 10:18 pm on Jul 21, 2010

Take a look at http://www.thinkquest.org/pls/html/f?p=52300:10:1954410072190415::::P10_AGE:12
The Oracle Thinkquest projects could be an angle for our group.

Kristin Hoins said

at 10:20 pm on Jul 21, 2010

Here are descriptions for the competition: http://www.thinkquest.org/competition/
We would be in the 12 and under category.

Mansi Juneja said

at 12:53 am on Jul 22, 2010

We can have our documentation in "google docs" also as this can help us in documentation.

Mansi Juneja said

at 1:13 am on Jul 22, 2010

Could you tell me where are we having the discussions on the project or this is the same window for the final project: i am little confused on this front. Kindly help me on the same.

Vickie Weiss said

at 4:18 am on Jul 22, 2010

Thanks, Marsha. Isn't it scary that I am so computer illiterate?

Gail Desler said

at 6:44 am on Jul 22, 2010

Kristin and everyone - I like the idea of going public with the project via ThinkQuest. Another venue perfect for bringing our students together, reflecting, and sharing out to a worldwide audience would be the MegaConferenceJr -http://www.megaconferencejr.org/. The only limitation would be sites that lack the bandwidth and videoconference camera would need to connect with a local university or institute with videoconferencing capability.

Kelyn Dewar said

at 6:56 am on Jul 22, 2010

Hi All, I've joined this group as I first became interested from Renee Edwards post. Here are the key ideas which caught my attention:
-integrate PBL with service learning and character education.
- INTRO: assess their prior knowledge of the oil spill and give them an overview of what is taking place.
- QUESTIONING: brainstorm questions about the oil spill or other environmental issues, then use those questions to propel the project.
- NARROWING: focus on the topic/topics that most interest them. Steer focus to a topic which directly connect to the people affected by the oil spill and ways that we can help or support the people/animals in that area.

I was happy to see the template, and still was wondering if I'm missing some guidance or reading that will help to flush out the questioning phase that was discussed in the webinar?

Jennifer Ower said

at 7:12 am on Jul 22, 2010

Wow...we have grown in one day! I e-mailed everyone that was originally here, but will now send e-mail to added collaborators. We will be having alive chat tomorrow (Fridat) at 11am PST for all those that can make it. Since not everyone has gmail, but everyone should have twitter, I will sent up a twitter chat.

Kristin Hoins said

at 11:02 am on Jul 22, 2010

I added Lori and Libby because they were expressing interest through the blog at Edutopia. I emailed them Jennifer's email and Tweetchat information. I sent a message to Tracy Hanson. As for the Thinkquest idea, my recommendation is that if you have some high achievers/highly motivated students that want to and can be more independent we could have another project or extension project for this competition. These teams are 1-6 students. Go to Oracle's Website to read all the details. Also, if anyone has time to look at Edmodo before tomorrow... please do. It's an education social networking tool free with privacy and teacher control options. If we don't want all our kids to have emails we could create this private social network.

Jennifer Ower said

at 11:04 am on Jul 22, 2010

The twitter chat will take place Friday at 11am PST. I have noticed even more people have joined. I think we need discuss if some people would like to start a similiar project on their own. To join the twitter chat tomorrow go to www.twitterchat.com/#pblcamp


suzieboss@... said

at 11:13 am on Jul 22, 2010

Wow! What a team! Wonderful to watch you guys working together.

jkrauss said

at 1:30 pm on Jul 22, 2010

WORD ALERT! Just before some parent catches this and gives you a drubbing I'd like to point out that your title should read "Affects" not "Effects". Common mistake... just put both words in a google search and see! Here's a good explanation:
Best to all,

Kristin Hoins said

at 11:05 pm on Jul 22, 2010

Nice Catch! I looked at that and we've written it both ways. Yikes!!!
On another note... look at http://www.flatclassroomproject.net/ for ideas on global connection and collaboration. They use Ning! While Ning requires our students to develop a saavy about netiquette as well as the need for email. It is super cool! So it would be nice to compare Edmodo (secure and very simple and not so dynamic) to a Ning, to edublogs, to Blogger. Personally, I'm leaning towards a Ning for this whole group. If you get time take a look before tomorrow.

Kristin Hoins said

at 11:09 pm on Jul 22, 2010

Suzie - Help ! You have admin control. Can you edit our title so it's affect instead of effect and can you delete the 5th-Grade It effects us all (it's blank). Thanks.

Marsha Fischer said

at 6:52 am on Jul 23, 2010

I am very excited about the students sharing their visits to the wetlands. The Everglades is such a central part of our environment here in FL, sometime the students don't realize the role that wetlands play around the world.

suzieboss@... said

at 6:57 am on Jul 23, 2010

Hi Kristin,
I'll enlist Betty Ray's help to rename page--she's the wiki creator. Don't want to mess up your fine work. You guys are really cooking here!

betty.ray@edutopia.org said

at 1:40 pm on Jul 23, 2010

Hey All - Page name has been fixed. You guys are awesome! Keep on rockin'!!

Jennifer Ower said

at 2:28 pm on Jul 23, 2010

For all those unable to attend our twitterchat today...please see link to 4/5 outline below project title. From this point forward, please place all resources on this page. We have decided to have one driving question, but an outline for 4th grade and an outline for 5th grade. We have also decided to have an anchor novel that we all read to our students. There will be one for 4th grade and one for 5th grade, as well as suggestions for books for guided reading. We also would like everyone interested to create epal accounts for yourself and later for your studnets. We ar egoing to pair students up to send e-mails about their projects, as well as the book and other stuff. Furthermore, we will be creatinga blog on epals to share projects. If you have any questions or not sure how to help, please email me at uclatig@gmail.com.


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