CLAYPOOL — Fifth grade students at Claypool Elementary are discovering water is the most important resource on the planet. Through project-based learning, students are researching how the Earth’s water supply is affected by humans and the ways in which mankind can conserve and protect this resource.
Students recently enjoyed the opportunity to learn alongside their peers while having the chance to showcase their learning in a creative way. This project-based learning opportunity tied in with the students’ science curriculum to allow for a deeper understanding of the subject material.
During the first e-learning day, students were assigned science homework to keep a water diary of their family’s water usage. Students were able to get a firsthand look into how much water is really used on a daily basis. Students also read literature that taught them how water is gathered around the world. Following these lessons, they moved onto a project called “Dragonfly Pond,” which focused on water conservation.
Students were asked to collaborate in order to create a town surrounding the fictional Dragonfly Pond. The town must consist of businesses such as grocery stores, gasoline stations, restaurants, dry cleaners and a bleach factory. The town also needs to include a farm, apartments, houses, park and a school.
The key is to ensure each property does not harm the environment around it, especially the Dragonfly Pond. Students showcase their learning by producing a collage of this town and presenting it to their classmates. Collaborative groups consist of five or six students, each taking on the role of a community member such as a farmer, business owner, homeowner, park employee, street department employee or school personnel. This project allows students to think about not only how water is protected, but also how it becomes polluted.