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.
EC/Pre-K had a wonderful time visiting Black Hill Regional Park. The students learned how to operate real binoculars and spent time birdwatching from a duck blind. They explored around Little Seneca Lake and tried to locate more birds as well as nests.
Back at the Nature Center, the preschoolers put their newly developed nest-building skills to work making nests using materials found in nature.
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Miss Tina, a Black Hill Naturalist, came to talk to Barnesville’s early childhood and pre-k classes about nature, birds, and bird nests. Preschoolers studied real bird nests then made some of their own! Pre-k students made observational drawings of their nest and designed a bird that would live there. They named the bird, drew the birds, and decided on characteristics of the new species.
Black Hill Naturalist Ms. Tina visited Barnesville and met with fifth and sixth graders to talk about plans for the Bluebird nesting boxes installed around campus. The group then visited Black Hill and continued that discussion with Ms. Lynette. She also talked to them about the other birds in our area and gave them tips for birdwatching and feeding.
Students spent some time birdwatching along the lake and spotted a Bald Eagle circling overhead with some Vultures and were able to compare their features.
While visiting the bird feeding station and bird blind located next to the lake, they saw Canada Geese, Buffleheads, Nuthatches, Titmice, Chickadees, Crows & a Downy Woodpecker.
Third and fourth grades had a grand experience learning about waterfowl from Jen Scully, a naturalist from Black Hill Regional Park. During the two-day field study, students learned the differences between loons, coots, and mallards. On their field trip to Black Hill, students used binoculars to observe different waterfowl in their natural habitat. As an added treat, they got to see a blue heron and a cormorant.
Barnesville fifth graders, Toby A. and Auveen K., each earned 4th Place Honorable Mention recognitions in the Laughing Gull Silhouette contest at the 46th Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition and Art Festival. Local wildfowl woodcarving specialist, Gary Stenger, accepted the awards on behalf of the Barnesville students. Thanks to Mr. Stenger’s coaching and sponsorship, every Barnesville student painted a wooden silhouette of a Laughing Gull for the national competition.
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.
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