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CT River Holyoke

River Sounds, Dinosaur Footprints

Overview/Rationale Students prepare to write poems about a field trip to the river by practicing outdoor listening and performing choral readings of river poems from River of Words: Young Poets and Artists on the Nature of Things. PRINT LESSON Grade Level:  3-5 Developed by Carol Berner & Lori Thayer, E.N. White School, Holyoke, MA,  and used in Grade 4 Community Partner:  Dinosaur Footprints Reservation, The Trustees of Reservations Learning Objectives Children will listen closely to sounds outdoors and record their findings on a Sound Map. Children will read and respond to poems about rivers, paying attention to poetic elements of  rhythm, repetition and sensory images. Children will plan and present dramatic readings of river poems. Lesson Plan Procedure: Preparatory Activity Time:  30 minutes Step 1. Introduce the activity of listening outside and model how to use aSound Map (downloadable from Materials Checklist).  15 minutes. Teacher’s narrative:  “You will be going to the river to catch a poem and you will need some tools to help you fish for poems:  tools for paying attention and tools for recording what you notice.  The tools you will use include looking, listening and imagining.” Model how to use theSound Mapping Handout. Prepare a large Sound Map on chart paper and demonstrate how to use it by telling a story about listening to outdoor sounds. Write a symbol (word or sketch) for each sound on the Sound Map as you tell the story.  For example: “Yesterday I was sitting in my back yard and I heard…” Indicate whether sounds are close by or far away, loud or soft, moving or stationary, etc. Optional:  Share an example of a poem you wrote from your Sound Map: “Lawnmower

girl by water

Vernal Pool Poetry

Overview/Rationale for Lesson: Students record sensory observations during a guided nature walk and use this data to create poetry and watercolor paintings documenting their discoveries. PRINT LESSON Grade Level:  K to 2 Developed by Beth Brady and Carol Berner, R.K. Finn/Ryan Road School, Florence, MA, and used in Grade 2 Community Partner: Hitchcock Center for the Environment, Amherst, MA Learning Objective(s): Students will learn to collect and record sensory data during a nature walk (I See, I Hear, I Smell, I Touch/Feel). Students will write a short poem or journal entry and make a watercolor painting based on field trip observations. Students will learn to look closely and ask questions about creatures and elements they discover on the forest walk. Lesson Plan Procedure Preparatory Activity: Time:  15 minutes plus outdoor nature walk Step 1.  During circle time students read and discuss the poem “Polliwogs” by Kristine O’Connell George.  15 minutes.  Note:  This activity may take place 1-2 days before nature walk. Write poem “Polliwogs” on chart paper and post it in circle area. Lead a pre-trip discussion about upcoming nature walk and ask children, “ What do you think you will find at the vernal pool?” Read aloud “Polliwogs” and invite children to take turns reading it aloud. Ask children, “What do you notice about the poem?” Lead discussion based on children’s observations about the poem’s shape, use of describing words, comparisons, etc. Tell children they will be writing their own poems after their trip to the vernal pool. Step 2.  Children go on a nature walk and record on a handout things that they see, hear, smell and touch.  (Download Student Handout from Materials Checklist.) 1-2 hours. During pre-trip discussion,