Monday, August 4, 2014

Beaches and Mountains – What Landforms Do You Live Near?

During the summer, most teachers I know spend at least some time planning for the next school year.  My favorite “planning” to do during the summer is field trip planning, because it means I get to tour cool places I’d like to take my students to – often with my own kids in tow.  Here are some of my favorite field trip locations, that can be found in most every community, as well as a list of content connections you can make for your students.  Often as teachers we only include field trips in our science and social studies, but there are lots of reading, writing and math connections that can be made in these locations as well.  I am going to share one type of field trip a week and ideas for making curriculum connections with each field trip.
  Get the most out of your next field trip with these curriculum connections from Raki's Rad Resources
Natural Landforms: beaches, mountains, lakes, rivers, etc.  Natural formations of the earth give us so much to talk about.  Being there and experiencing these places provides students with more than just a photo opportunity.  Landforms may differ depending on your location.  I have done beach field trips, mountain field trips and desert field trips – all helped my students expand their knowledge base and make curriculum connections like these.
Reading:  Non fiction reading about the creation, use or history of landforms in your area.  Fiction stories about a trip to the beach or climbing a mountain.  Read newspaper articles that talk about current events involving the landform – beach cleanups or wildlife protection acts.
Get the most out of your next field trip with these curriculum connections from Raki's Rad Resources.Writing:  Write the creation story of a landform, from the point of view of a rock sitting near by.  Create a pamphlet convincing people to come and visit this landform.  Write a descriptive essay that would make someone feel as though they were sitting right on or near this landform – be sure to take notes while you are there to help you remember how you felt.
Math:  Count, or estimate:  How many steps to the top of the mountain?  How many tide pools on the beach?  How many fish in the river? How many grains of sand in a bucket?
Science:  Science connections may vary depending on the type of landform, but for all different landforms, you can learn about how it was created, what animals or plants have adapted to live there, how the weather, or other natural forces like tides, affects the landform etc.
Social Studies:  Landforms tend to be a big part of local history.  Was this landform a help or a hindrance to historical populations?  Are there any historical events which happened here?  Are there any laws protecting this landform?  Does this landform attract tourist revenue?
To make field trips more educational, I often use graphic organizers and other activities to keep my students focused.  Read more about the specifics in this blog post: Field Trips Aren’t Just For Fun.  Be sure to stop by next week for another Field Trip Curriculum Connection.
What is your best field trip idea?
Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources