Project WET, Project WILD-Aquatic and WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands
Review: We've chosen to review these three separate books together because of similarities and common strengths. All offer varied activities designed for kindergarten to adult learners and investigators. All three promote awareness, stewardship and the gaining of background knowledge, in a broad, interdisciplinary sense. The carefully field-tested activites will work in schools, with about half designed for outdoor use and others for classroom settings. Science and environmental concepts are presented in ways that support a variety of learning styles.
Use Project WET for watershed studies, for water as a resource and for water management issues;
Use Project WILD-Aquatic for biological topics including habitat issues;
WOW! focuses on wetlands and has a large array of activities and background material that can help with almost any wetland study, including plants, animal and soils.
Other Information: Project WET and Project WILD-Aquatic are available to teachers who have attended professional development sessions offered by coordinators in each state. National contact numbers appear below, or contact your state Fish and Game Department or Department of Environmental Conservation. If you need information on Project WET for your state, call 406-994-5392, for Project WILD-Aquatic, call 301-493-5447 or visit their website: http://eelink.umich.edu/wild/
WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands ($15.95 plus shipping) is available from The Watercourse, Montana State Univesity, PO Box 170575, Bozeman, MT 59717. Call 406-994-5392. Paperback. 350 pages.
Ocean View Elementary School began its first stages of becoming a maritime pathway school in the 1995-96 school year. As a maritime pathway school, each class experiences monthly field study opportunities connecting maritime knowledge to the state's standards of learning.
We are two fifth grade teachers using wetlands to integrate math, language arts, social studies, science, research and study skills in heterogeneously grouped, self-contained classrooms. We use skills essential to the majors we pursued in college: analytical thinking, research, data collection, and locating resource people.
As the education coordinator at River Watch, I work with teachers across the country who use monitoring as a part of a vibrant, relevant, river study. In this article, I will briefly describe monitoring and the options available to teachers and review some the most common pitfalls to avoid.
Integrating sound practices of education, curriculum, and free thought have been challenges as my students and I practice inquiry learning in a thematic project by studying one of our most readily available aquatic environments: a ditch with water in it. Known by my students as the DEP (Ditch Ecosystem Project) our purpose is to study this environment in a scientifically sound way, answering questions that arise using data collected by ourselves and peers in prior years.
Drawing from my experience as a K-12 science teacher for 17 years, I have found stream and pond studies to provide the most natural multidisciplinary curriculum ever. From botany, biology and geology to social, political and economic concerns, from kindergarten to college students, no other resource taps into as many topics and excites as many people.
A major strength of the Save Our Streams (SOS) program is the unspoken expectation that students can produce valuable water quality data and therefore share responsibility for the decisions and actions that determine the water quality in their community.
With boots and a small bucket, you and your students can begin to investigate a local wetland. Add hand lenses and a few clear plastic boxes in which you can capture (temporarily) insects, muck from the bottom, and small pieces of debris and you will make remarkable discoveries about the diversity of life in the wetland.