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Project Based Learning Electives provided by the Berrien Springs Virtual Academy
Habitats and Wildlife Spring 2019
Teacher: Zoe Elrick 269-612-8172
8 weeks, 2-hour class periods
Ages 6-9 (Parent attendance required), older students are welcome
***Please email instructor that you signed up for this class.***
Fernwood Botanical Garden, Niles, MI
Tuesdays, 10 AM- noon
Jan 31, Feb 14, April 11, April 18,
Apr 25, May 2, May 9, May 16
Description:This class is both informative and fun! Come enjoy Fernwood, explore its natural habitats - it’s prairies, woodlands, and wetlands. Plus, visit Warren Dunes and its lake and dunes, for 2 days of class. Learn about nature through a variety of hands-on nature-exploration skills, weekly lesson topics, and biweekly units.This is a combo indoor and outdoor class; dress for the weather. Parents welcome to attend. Parents must attend with children under 10 years of age.
Topics include: Southwest Michigan local habitats; Prairies; Lake and Dunes; Woodlands; and Wetlands; Nature Journal; Deep-Sensing Nature; Tracking and Awareness; Plant Identification; and Local Plants and Animals. Plus, each class day, students get to enjoy the features, plants, animals, and nature at Fernwood. During each class, students will be outdoors, studying nature. There will be outdoor and indoor parts to class. The class aims to help each student develop a (daily or weekly) routine of skills to continue to learn about nature in class and at home and wherever they go, during the school year and beyond.
Expectations and Goals: 1. Students pass if they attend 80% of the days of class. 2. Test – required by Berrien Springs. Each student will take a pre-test (10-multiple choice questions), during the first class; and a post-test (same 10-multiple choice questions), during the last class. 3. Scrapbook – Journal, per each day of class. Each student writes and or draws a journal page – a “story of the day” of something the student learned about and or experienced in class that day. Thus, by the end of the semester, each student will have an 8-page journal (scrapbook) on the class. 4. Scrapbook – Journal, of the Semester. On the last day of class. On one sheet, each student writes about 3 things the student learned about during the semester. 5. Teacher makes Scrapbook – Photo Journal – group evidence of learning – required by Berrien Springs. Teacher will submit to Berrien Springs, a photo journal of class learning and activities. Teacher will email the photo journal to the students too.
-Teacher provides weekly paper info-sheets, nature books, outdoor nature, land, leaves, flowers, sticks, and more.
-Required to bring to class (provided by student/family): dress for weather, class is indoors and or outdoors. Outdoor picnic style Workshop: bring a drinking water bottle, 3-ring binder, paper, pencils, clipboard.
-Optional Materials (provided by student/family): picnic blanket, color pencils, pens, markers, hat, snacks, camera.
Instructor Bio Zoe Elrick has a background in education, culture, science, art, history, as well as landscape architecture and ecology. In 2011, she started the Galien Valley Nature and Culture Program (GV-NCP), in Three Oaks, Michigan. Also, she is a registered landscape architect, in Michigan, and works part time for Pizzo and Associates, an ecological restoration firm of prairies, woodlands, and wetlands. Her landscape architecture degree is from University of Illinois UrbanaChampaign. Plus, she has taken classes from the Tracker School of tracking, awareness, nature, and wilderness survival.
*Please note: it is important to make as informed a decision as possible when choosing your student's Community Resource classes. Most locations will allow a student to drop a class after one meeting, at no charge if it wasn't a good fit for the student, but not all. Some classes plan ahead based on the number that have signed up and have purchased materials, hired teachers, etc. and there might be a fee for class time or materials given to the student if the student drops after one or two meetings. The school cannot pay for classes that students do not complete, so choose wisely; if you do not take the class off of your student's schedule by the deadline, you may be asked to pay for the class time incurred prior to dropping the class.
Teacher of Record: Tom Hurst