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What intrigued me most about this particular lesson is how it brought together not only Pickerington
Elementary students, staff and parents as a community but how it extended beyond the school environment and
into the retired community residents, area businesses and artists in their efforts to save the wetlands of
Pickerington Ponds. I think this particular lesson teaches students about life-centered issues such as being
aware of the natural beauty of their surrounding environment and the importance of saving it from destruction.
With respect to ecology, I believe the Pickerington project made students aware of the ecological habitats of
the wetlands at Pickerington Ponds and about the various and diverse animal, plant and insect habitats that
can only survive with the survival of their home - the wetlands. The project brought the community together
in saving their wetland habitats. This is extremely important because people learn best from each other. The
students used art, i.e., tiles, to share their awareness of the beauty of their surrounding environment with
others in their community to make them aware, too, of the beauty that exists in their backyard. It seems the
goal was to show the importance of the survival of the wetland habitats at Pickerington Ponds to continue the
ecological systems that exist.
Art is an important way to show awareness, especially with children. Children tend to speak with innocence,
truth and beauty of what is really important in our world.
Adaptations I would make for a future 3rd grade class in Tucson would be as follows:
First, since wetlands are not a common habitat in Tucson, I would try and focus on the desert habitats in
relation to the destruction is faces with urbanization (the numerous home subdivisions that are replacing the
desert habitats). I think a good way to introduce such a unit would be to include various literature, poety
which discuss the importance of not disrupting desert eco-systems and discuss what can happen to the plant,
animal and insect life if their natural habitats are destroyed. Likewise, I would like to create art journals
and have students do research and use their senses to describe the various aspects of the desert eco-systems.
I would also arrange various guest speakers to talk with my students and discuss possible options for
community involvement to make them aware of the situation at hand. For example, maybe do a print making
project and create notepaper or cards with desert designs and sell as a fundraiser to protect the desert
habitats. Field trips are also important for hands-on experiences. Any other suggestions?