Fieldwork and Place-based Education: Two Classroom Updates, Oct 2018


Fieldwork and Place-based Education: Two Classroom Updates

Date of Activity / Lesson:

October, 2018


Portland Art Museum, Columbia River Gorge


Kindergarten: Families


What makes a family? What is unique about my family? How is my family similar to or different from other families? These are just a few of the questions our kindergarteners are exploring this fall through sharing, literacy, and art. As a foray into the field, the class visited the Portland Art Museum to explore family and identity in paintings. In the school building, kinders are building their school family with their 7th and 8th grade buddies through reading, play, and exploration. Learning about and celebrating family and diversity is a powerful entry into place-based education for our youngest scholars.


Third Grade: The Geologic History of Oregon


Our third graders are delving into Oregon’s geologic history this fall. In addition to examining rocks in the classroom and learning about the timeline of the Earth, students visited Beacon Rock in the Columbia River Gorge and viewed sturgeon (whose evolution dates back to the Triassic era) at the Bonneville Dam. Earlier this week, the class visited their community partner, the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, where they were able to see fluorescent minerals, petrified wood, fossils, meteorites, thundereggs, sunstones and amazing gems and crystals. In November, students will trek across the river to OMSI to take part in a fossil lab and a rocks and mineral lab.


Later this trimester, the third grade will create an exhibit for the fossil room at the Rice Museum. This marks our third collaboration with the museum; in past years, our third graders created a scavenger hunt for visitors and a visual geologic timeline which is currently on display.


Stay tuned for more updates of Place-Based Education (PBE) adventures at The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science.


Sarah K. Anderson, Fieldwork Coordinator, The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science

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