A Bird’s Eye View
In this expedition, students will fly into a deep and holistic investigation into all things related to birds. Through integrated learning experiences including scientific observation, hands-on fieldwork, research, art, and literature, students will develop a rich appreciation for and understanding of birds. Students will discover how birds’ adaptations allow them to survive. We’ll also explore some of the reasons and ways that humans value and appreciate birds. Throughout the entire expedition, students will contemplate what life might be like from a bird’s eye view.
As a final product, students will become an expert on one bird and create a diary for that bird based on the picture books Diary of a Worm and Diary of a Spider.
Humans of North Carolina
In this expedition, fourth graders will investigate the people and events that shaped North Carolina. Students will use a variety of material including primary sources to learn about historical events from multiple perspectives. Students will participate in a case study of the Greensboro Sit-ins in which they will use newspaper articles, photographs, podcast interviews, and picture books to explore the event from the perspectives of the Greensboro Four, workers at the Woolworth’s lunch counter, protesters and observers, adults, children, and others who experienced the pivotal event from North Carolina’s civil rights movement. Students will then be introduced into several different NC historical events including piracy, colonization, the Trail of Tears, the Civil War, and more. Students will work in groups of four to research an event of their choosing from the multiple perspectives. Students will write biographies from a first person perspective and share the stories of their historical figures during a wax museum an Exhibition Night. Fieldwork includes a trip to the Cherokee museum, Triangle Park, the YMI building, as well as a visit from expert Tony Mele.
In this expedition students will investigate the biological diversity that makes western North Carolina such a unique place. Students spend the first part of the expedition getting to know some of the plants, animals, and other organisms that live here. They will build an understanding of the qualities that enable North Carolina’s mountain region to sustain such variety.
The final project is a service learning experience in which students advocate for a local threatened or endangered species. In groups of four, students become experts on a species. They research its adaptations, niche, habitat, and threats. Through an advocation fair based on the picture book The Great Smokey Mountain Salamander Ball, students educate the community about their species’ struggle and ways to help. Students write letters to members of Congress to share their ideas for saving their species and to request support.