This year, the grade 5 classes are exploring the theme of change. Change in ecosystems, change in climate, change in identity, growth and change in self. Our first EXPO (Experiential, Place-Based, Outdoors) rotation took this theme and gave us the opportunity to explore the change in wetland ecosystems over the course of changing seasons. As the days were getting shorter, and the air getting colder, students had a first-hand glimpse of the changes taking place to the plants and animals in a wetland ecosystem as the northern hemisphere moves into winter.
Utilizing journaling, photos, invertebrate dipping, and scavenger hunts, students actively explored three different local wetlands (2 natural and one man-made) as they learned about the important roles that wetlands play. The wetland trips that both groups took to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary in the first of November occurred in very frigid temperatures which challenged the students to not only be prepared to spend the day outside, but to also observe signs of living things that have adapted to overwinter in Calgary. In the spring, we will continue to observe the changes occurring and the scientific processes involved.
Additionally, we were able to begin to incorporate our exploration into weather and climate as students created cloudscapes using pastels and expertise from our Art teacher, Lorrie Emin. We are currently wondering how clouds can give us clues to changes in weather and what they can tell us about the current weather. This learning will continue at school and in your schoolyard over the coming months.
Alongside our off-campus EXPO trips, we spent time in the school supplementing our learning in the learning commons and science lab. Students used the C3 Expedition giant map of Canada to exploring scale (non-standard measurement) and the regions of Canada. We also incorporated STEM challenges in the science lab to support our understanding of the Global Read Aloud novel, The Wild Robot.