Presentation Title

Schoolyard Transformation: Place Connection and Community Building through Seasonal Storytelling

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

I am in the early stages of developing an environmental education curriculum intended for the elementary school classroom. This curriculum is designed to provide vibrant and introspective nature connections for fourth graders. While having a decidedly environmental focus, this program does not access ecological awareness through traditional scientific avenues. The phenology-centered modules instead use the creative power of words and images to invoke the moods of the four seasons. Inspiration from each module will be drawn from nature authors, poets, and artists from different ages, cultures, and identities. From these initial examples, lessons will proceed with thematic discussions of seasonal and personal change, perspective-shifting writing prompts, and creative challenges, all while students are buoyed by the support of strong classroom community. Students will be encouraged to consider their own identities and evolving feelings throughout four seasons as they learn to become attentive witnesses to changes in their home and school natural areas. In this way, art, poetry, nature writing, and students’ original stories infuse the lessons with the warmth of human community, nurture emotional connection to learning and place, while bringing seasonal changes from their schoolyard to life. This curriculum culminates in a celebration of summer, with students gifting their school a beautiful seasonal anthology of their work to document for future students the story of their year of transformation.

Start Date

6-5-2017 4:15 PM

End Date

6-5-2017 4:30 PM

Location

Miller Hall

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May 6th, 4:15 PM May 6th, 4:30 PM

Schoolyard Transformation: Place Connection and Community Building through Seasonal Storytelling

Miller Hall

I am in the early stages of developing an environmental education curriculum intended for the elementary school classroom. This curriculum is designed to provide vibrant and introspective nature connections for fourth graders. While having a decidedly environmental focus, this program does not access ecological awareness through traditional scientific avenues. The phenology-centered modules instead use the creative power of words and images to invoke the moods of the four seasons. Inspiration from each module will be drawn from nature authors, poets, and artists from different ages, cultures, and identities. From these initial examples, lessons will proceed with thematic discussions of seasonal and personal change, perspective-shifting writing prompts, and creative challenges, all while students are buoyed by the support of strong classroom community. Students will be encouraged to consider their own identities and evolving feelings throughout four seasons as they learn to become attentive witnesses to changes in their home and school natural areas. In this way, art, poetry, nature writing, and students’ original stories infuse the lessons with the warmth of human community, nurture emotional connection to learning and place, while bringing seasonal changes from their schoolyard to life. This curriculum culminates in a celebration of summer, with students gifting their school a beautiful seasonal anthology of their work to document for future students the story of their year of transformation.