Fieldwork Coordinator Update – October 2019


Fieldwork Coordinator Update

Date of Activity / Lesson:

October 2019


Portland Fire Station, Mirabella Retirement Home, OHSU Aerial Tram, Umpqua Bank, Central Library, Oregon Zoo, National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), OHSU Primate Lab


1st / 2nd Grade: Neighborhood and Community Study


What is a neighborhood? What is a community? Are they the same thing or are there differences? These are just a few of the questions our 1st and 2nd grade students are exploring this fall. Both classrooms have built neighborhood models and are busy adding buildings, streets, and characters. To inform their classroom work, students have been out and about in the city to learn more about important elements of neighborhoods. They toured Gray’s Landing, the apartment building across the street, and Mirabella retirement home. They traveled to OHSU on the aerial tram and journeyed downtown twice to visit a Portland fire house and see behind the scenes at Umpqua bank. Charlene Zidell spoke in the classroom about the history of her family in the South Waterfront, and next week the classes will visit the Central Library for a tour. In each location, students are asking about how different agencies or business help the community. They will use this research to consider how they can help their community and create their own service projects. This unit lays critical groundwork for our students by establishing a working understanding of community and their role as a community member. Civic education in action!



6th Grade: The Human Body


Did you know that The Cottonwood School has a whole class of medical experts? Another group of 6th grade students have entered the University of Colombo Medical School and have recently passed their MCATs. They are on their way to becoming specialists and presenting their knowledge to a panel of professionals at the grand rounds later this trimester. To prepare for med school, students conducted a few fieldwork trips. The class visited the Oregon Zoo to help their understanding of primate evolution. A trip to Portland State University’s Natural History Museum gave students the opportunity to observe dozens of mammalian skeletons. In September, the class visited the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) for a guided garden tour and to learn about the medicinal properties of plants. In November, they will revisit NUNM for a class on naturopathic medicine, and in December, the class will journey to the OHSU primate lab to learn more about the field of medical research. In addition to field studies, students will have many hands-on experiences in the classroom (no spoilers!) that make for a completely memorable unit. Best of luck!

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

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

Image Gallery:
(if blank, then see above)

Make a Donation to Help Further Place-Based Education!