"National Parks" Library Project

Collaborative w Grade Five, Exceptional Education support.

The seed of an idea... grows into achievement.

Our students love to talk about their summer vacations. When I saw how much they loved sharing their journeys, I turned their interests into a National Parks project to include research; learning and citing resources; creating presentations; sharing those presentations with younger students; and asking new questions with community organizations.

The Librarian collaborated with Grade 5 classrooms with support from Gifted Resources. We began this project in January, and it blossomed through the month of March. Our goal was to tap into every student's interest-- those in need of remediation, those in the gifted program and everyone in between. Coupled with a focus on research skills and the willingness to explore student-driven inquiry, we all learned from each other and exceeded our expectations as a school community.

Here's what we've learned so far....

A topic of interest for each and every student!

The best part is that every student has discovered a topic that really interests them. This student is studying the bird "Stellar's Jay" in the Grand Canyon!

New learning leads to new inquiry!

Most students wanted to research animals that live in the parks, so an extended project was launched focusing on animals native to specific National Parks. Students created a folder to be displayed during the culminating activity, a living museum. The folder highlighted interesting facts about the animal and its place in the food chain. Several students chose to present their animal project using fold-ables.
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The Wildlife Center of Virginia and our generous PTA!

To support student interest in animals, The Wildlife Center of Virginia visits PES on March 23, 2015 to present their program, "Life Along the Appalachian Trail." The PTA sponsored this program that will be presented to the entire student body. Students will have an opportunity to see and learn about three animals found in National Parks (hawk, snake, and opossum) along with other flora and fauna.

Living Museum! A sharing of knowledge between grade levels!

Student groups are presently reviewing their notes about national parks in general. Students will create a "LIVING MUSEUM" to present to Grade 2 students in April 2015. As the younger students tour, they will press an imaginary "button" at each display. The activated "button" setting into motion the older students to become animated as presenters. Grade 5 students will present their information using skits, readers theater, etc. The choice is theirs, so we are expecting a wide range of products.

Skype with the Director, Daniel Boone National Forest

Students had a wonderful time asking questions with the Park Director! Student's asked about the types of subjects necessary to study to become a park manager, and what are the types of projects that rangers are involved in resource management.