Black Hill Partnership Blog
In the fall of 2015, Barnesville embarked on a school-wide partnership with Black Hill Regional Park to enhance outdoor and environmental education across the School’s curriculum. This blog chronicles related programs and activities.
WATCH TECHNOLOGY & NATURE: First Grade Bird iMovies -- First and fourth grade worked in buddy groups to select birds to study and filled out research organizers. Each first grader then wrote paragraphs from their organizer and produced their own iMovie. Take a look!
WATCH: 2-minute Earth Day Flying WILD Festival video recap. The day was the culmination of six months of bird-related nature lessons, and embodied much of what the School community values as “The Barnesville Way” -- hands-on learning in nature, cross-curricular connections, kind and collaborative interaction among grade levels, and joy.
8th grade is studying forest layers. They hiked in Dickerson to see the State Champion Sycamore Tree. A short video slideshow is on YouTube. The Bluebells are in full bloom!
On Tuesday, April 12, the eighth grade class of the Barnesville School of Arts and Sciences went to Black Hill Regional Park. There, they learned about different layers of a forest, like the herb layer and canopy layer, and about how these layers can be damaged in circumstances like forest fires. They observed an area where there was a fire recently, as well as an untouched area, and discussed the differences. They also witnessed a tree climbing demonstration. Students learned about safety practices for tree climbers, pruning techniques, and how to keep trees healthy.
-- Guest Blogger, Nelli S., Class of 2016
While many projects at Barnesville have a cross-curricular nature, the FlyingWILD bird education program our teachers trained for at Black Hill Regional Park has sparked new ideas that complement our curriculum.Each spring, eighth graders research environmental issues and write a related informational essay. This year, the focus of those papers was endangered birds. Facts from that research were also reflected on birdhouses the students have built as part of their Class Gift to the School. Students were asked to use recycled materials and graffiti art to portray key facts about their endangered birds and Peeps candies to depict the actual birds.
Barnesville’s partnership with Black Hill Regional Park weaves together art, science, and nature, as evidenced by the 6th Grade Bluebird Box project.
Sixth graders put the finishing touches on Bluebird boxes they assembled last week. Black Hill Regional Park Naturalist, Tina Stachura, instructed that when decorating the boxes, it is important to use lighter colors to keep the temperature down inside the boxes to cut down on the mortality rate of the baby birds.Ms. Stachura also took the students outside to scout out ideal locations for the boxes to be installed around Barnesville’s campus. On their visit to Black Hill last week, the sixth graders learned about Bluebirds and how to check on the boxes to ensure they are not taken over by invasive species of birds.
Black Hill Park Naturalist, Tina Stachura, is working with Barnesville’s sixth grade students to make and install Bluebird boxes around the School’s campus later this spring. Students visited Black Hill where they learned about the Bluebird life cycle, habitat, and why naturalists encourage people to put up boxes to protect and preserve the species.
After assembling Bluebird boxes, the class headed outside to check on some of the boxes located around the Park. Students observed how to monitor the boxes to ensure they are not taken over by invasive species such as European Starlings and House Sparrows. When Ms. Stachura played the Bluebirds’ song on her iPhone, a pair of Bluebirds flew over the class!
While at the Black Hill Nature Center, students also observed via webcam a Bald Eagle in her nest feeding her two eaglets.
Next week, Ms. Stachura will be on Barnesville’s campus to help the students scout out locations for their Bluebird boxes.
Having learned all about bird nests earlier in the week, Barnesville’s early childhood and pre-k classes visited Black Hill Regional Park Nature Center. Naturalist, Lynette Lenz, showed them a live webcam of an Eagle’s nest and then took everyone outside to explore around the park to look for birds and their nests.
Black Hill Regional Park naturalist, Lynette Lenz, visited with Barnesville’s early childhood and pre-k students to talk about nests and the different materials birds use to build them. Ms. Lenz shared a book about birds and and brought a few real nests for the students to see and touch. The tiniest was that of a Hummingbird. In contrast, she explained that Eagles continually build on their nests year after year, so they can be as large as the classroom carpet and weigh as much as a car.
The classes went outside to gather materials and built nests of their own. They learned that Cardinals build nests in bushes, Robins use mud, and Hummingbirds use moss with spiderwebs as glue.
Later this week, the classes will go to Black Hill Regional Park for a nest scavenger hunt.
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