Teaching environmental science to K-6 students
Name: Catherine M Myers
How would you teach your field to K-6 students?
I would teach the basics. First I would teach the idea of balance and
diversity in an ecosystem. This would include the idea of successional
communities during the year (from season to season). Then I would teach the
idea of absorbing a change. Such as: how would a community change if I a)
built a road. b) built a dam. c) added hot or contaminated water to a river.
d) added a pollutant to the air. A good game for this is called the food web
game. Everyone is some part of the food web, and each holds a string that
connects him (her) to the organisms that depend on him (her) for food. You
can also include other factors like light, warmth, or clean water.
one organism dies (or factor changes) the kids can see how it affects the
other organisms, because each organism that is affected, itself than affects
other organisms all the way up the food chain. It can be a little shocking.
Then I would look at communities that had been damaged and identify what
damaged it, how it happened, how could it be fixed, and how could future
damage be avoided. It is important to stress SOLUTIONS because invariably the
problem is caused by man trying to make money, and without a SOLUTION someone
looses a livelihood. The little guys can be taught simple things like balance
versus change. Change versus irreparable damage. This is a great subject for
developing critical thinking skills.
Stacie M Clark
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Update: June 2012