Happy 100th Birthday, National Park Service! During this NPS centennial year, the fourth graders became NPS Junior Rangers and recently shared their research about America’s natural treasures during a National Parks presentation for their families and the Episcopal community.
Students worked in groups to learn more about a certain national park. They gathered information, organized a presentation board, designed a junior ranger activity book, and created a stamp which was used to stamp parents' national parks passports during their visit. The National Parks presentations were the culmination of an integrated project based learning unit on US geography and landforms.
In science class, fourth graders learned about landforms and erosion. They also learned about specific landforms in the United States and how many of them are protected by the NPS. This unit extended into Social Studies, where students learned mapping skills, and into Language Arts, where students read landform poems.
The enrichment teachers played an important role in enhancing our students' learning during this unit. Students learned American themed songs and movements that connected to the national parks in Music class, which they performed for their families. They hiked from the school to nearby Forest Park during PE class. Beautiful landscape paintings based on landforms and national parks were painted in Art and are now displayed in the Lower School hallways. Students learned the computer program Tinkercad to design a national park keychain that is being 3D printed. Virtual Reality viewers with the Google Expeditions app were used so students could "travel" to various national parks.
This year, we have incorporated the Every Kid in a Park program, which is a White House youth initiative that specifically encourages fourth graders and their families to explore our country’s natural wonders and historic sites. Each fourth grader received a free one-year park pass. We hope everyone will get a chance to explore the outdoors and our nation’s famous landmarks!