Marie Curie Math & Science Center

Giselle Bender Evans Park Elementary School Pearl River, NY
Subject : Environmental Awareness
Grade Level : Kindergarten

Commencement content standard from MST

  • Standard 1 : Students will use mathmatical analysis, scientific inquiry and engineering design as appropiate to pose questions seek answers and develop solutions.
  • Standard 2 : Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropoate technologies.
  • Standard 4 : Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principals and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

Benchmark Standards / Content Standards

4th Grade/Standard 1/#3 (Scientific Inquiry): The observations made by testing proposed explanations, when analyzed using conventional and invented methods: provide new insights into phenomena.
Kindergarten: The observations made by testing predictions will provide new insights.

4th Grade/Standard2/#2: Knowledge of impacts and limitations of information systems is essential to its effective and ethical use.
Kindergarten: Knowledege of the importance and the usefulness of the computer as a tool.

4th Grade/Standard4/#6 (The Living Environment): Plants and animals depend on each other and their physical environment.
Kindergarten: Plants and animals depend on each other, the land, and water to survive.

4th Grade/Standard4/#7 (The Living Environment): Human decisions and activities have a profound impact on the physical and living environment.
Kindergarten: Litter, pollution and waste have had a negative effecton our land and oceans.

Proformance Standards
4th Grade/Standard 1/#3/*2&*3 (Scientific Inquiry)

  • Intorganized observations and measurements, recognizing simple patterns, sequences, and relationships.
  • Share findings with others and actively seek their interpretations and ideas.


  • Through observations, interpretations and conclusions can be made
  • Through their findings, interpretations, ideas and conclusions and be shared with peers

4th Grade/Standard 2/#2/*2:

  • Understand that computers are used to store personal information


  • We can sore our discoveries or ideas on the computer

4th Grade/Standard4/#6/*1 (The Living Environment):

  • Describe how plants and animals including humans, depend on each other and the nonliving environment


  • We need plants to live because plants give us oxygen to breathe.  We in turn give plants carbon dioxide, therefore plants are important.

4th Grade/Standard 4/#7/*1 (The Living Environment):

  • Identify ways in which humans have changed their environment and the effects of thise changes


  • The choices we make about throwing away our garbage affects our school and home environment.

Content Standard or Outcomes
1. The students will be aware of the importance of clean water to people, plants and animals, therefore understanding the need to keep it clean.
Enabling Activity: Experiment - "Does a Plant Need Clean Water To Grow?" (see below)

2. The students will become aware of the importance of landand the necessity to keep it clean.
Enabling Activity: Read "Heron Street" by Ann Turner.  "Heron Street" interactive bulletin board activity. (see below)

3. The students will share their feeling with others about keeping the environment clean.
Enabling Activity: Prepare a TV Spot or Hold a Puppet Show! (see below)

4. The students will understand the term "RECYCLE."
Enableing Activity: Turn your classroom into a toy factory. "Getting Down To Business."  (see below)

5. By sorting the materials in the classroom, the students will become aware of the amount of waste generated in the classroom and the need to recycle.
Enableing Activity: Sort classroom materials (paper, plastic, aluminum) for recycling. (see below)

6.The students will adopt a tree outside the classroom to observe, discuss and research.
Enabling Activity: "Adopt A Tree" outside the classroom  to observe, discuss and research. (see below)

7. The students will participate in creating an "Environmental Newsletter" using the computer.
Enabling Activity: Create an environmental newsletter called " Caring For The Earth." (see below)

Performance measures

Activity 1. The students will keep journals by drawing what they see happening to plant #1, plant#2, and plant#3.  Using the journals, the students must be able to explain the results (what actually happened), then successfully express the conclusion (what did I learn-Plants need clean water to grow.).

Activity 2. The students will be able to remove litter from the bulleting board scene and correctly place the type of litter in the appropiate pocket.

Activity 3. Through the use of a rubric, the students will prepare an effective TV commercial or puppet show (skit or song), which will encourage people not to litter or pollute.

Activity 4. The students will be able to correctly explain why one group of children were left with no clay, and the other group were of children with the same amount of clay as they started with. (naming the process - recycling).

Activity 5. The students will successfully make new paper by using old scraps of paper they collected in the classroom.

Activity 6. Each child will be responsible for investigating a topic and recording their discovery about the adopted tree. They will then report to the class and add their finding(s) to the class book entitled "Our Adopted Tree" on the computer.  The end product will be a published book.

Activity 7. Each child will express and share a discovery learned during the unit with the class, then correctly type their response on the computer which will become part of the environmental newsletter for school, friends and family!

Enabling Activities

1. Experiment - "Do Plants Need Clean Water To Grow?"  Have students make predictions and write responses (save).  Have students take three similar plants and place them in the same location in the room.  Each week, plant#1 will watered with one cup (depending on size of the plants) of clean water.  Plant #2 will be water with one cup of polluted water (vinegar and water solution). Plant #3 will not be watered.  Each week, students will make observations about the growth process and draw their observations in a journal.  This could be done individually or in groups of three.  At the end of the experiment, have students refer to their journals and explain what actually happened.  Then have the students draw conclusions.  Bring out their predictions from the beginning of the experiment and discuss.

2. After reading the story "Heron Street," by Ann Turner, prepare an Interactive Bulletin Board Display.  First, create a scene through the use of construction-paper cutouts, drawings, and pictures to create a scene of "Heron Street" by Ann Turner.  Then, prepare cutouts or pictures of different kinds of litter (garbage, newspaper, glass bottles).  Attach these items, each with a single piece of tape to different places on the bulletin board scene.  Along the bottom of the board, attach three pockets labeled TRASH, BOTTLES, and NEWSPAPER. Have students remove and throw away litter from the sceneand place in the appropiate packet.  Allow children to then add to the scene by creating things such as, flowers, trees, garbage cans etc..

3. Prepare a TV Spot or Hold a Puppet Show
Divide the class into small groups.  Ask each group to prepare a TV commercial to encourage people not to litter  out land or oceans. The students will use a rubric to help guide them in their work.  Each group must create a skit or a song, and a poster.  Each group must present a finished spot that lasts no longer than 3-5 minutes. The students have the option of using puppets to convey their message. Use a video camera, video tape the final presentations.  As you play the video tape back for the students to observe, have them discuss why some presentations were more effective than others. Review the rubric. Display the posters that each group made in the hall or classroom. (rubric attached).

TV or Puppet Show Commercial

  Excellent Good Needs Help
MESAGE (song or skit)      
Are we creative (different)?      
Is our skit or song persuasive?      
Is our poster neat?      
Is out message clear?      
Were we enthusiastic?      
Did we speak to the audience?      
Did we know our parts?      
Did we cooperate with each other?      
Did we all take part in creating and presenting the commercial?      

4. Getting Down To Business
Tell students that they will be working in a toy factory. Split the class into two groups. Name one group "The Recyclers" and the other group "The Wasters." Pass out the same amount of clay to each child. Have them slpit the clay into four pieces. Ask the childreb the make their first toy (a ball). After they have finished, ask the "The Recyclers" to reuse their piece of clay to make the next toy and "The Wasters" to throw their toy into the garbage. Repeat the activity, switching groups.

5. Recycling Classroom Waste
Collect 3 or 4 large bins. Explain to the students that they will be collecting and sorting trash items in the classroom such as paper, plastic, aluminum etc.. Have the children begin recycling by sorting all their classroom trash used during snack time, projects, art activities etc. into the bins for the next two weeks or more. At the end of the few weeks, take a look at the amount of waste that has been generated. Have the children particpate in recycling the paper by making new paper from old scraps.
Have students tear the paper scraps into tiny pieces. Place paper into a large bin of water. Stir and soak. Pour a cupful of the paper mixture into a blender and blend until the mixture become pulp. Pour pulp over a screen (screen should be over a pan). Press cloth or newspaper over the pulp to soak up and absorb excess water. Remove cloth or newspaper and let dry. When dry, peel the new paper off the screen.

6. "Adopt A Tree"
The class will adopt a tree outside the classroom for the students to observe, discuss and research. Have the students do the following: Find out what typw of tree it is. Estimate the number of branches of the tree, check estimates. Make a drawing of the tree. Do a rubbing of the tree bark and compare the bark to other types of trees. Collect leaves, seeds, and twigs from the tree (dissect these items). Collect all information and create a book called "Our Adopted Tree" using a computer writing program. The children can add some simple text to each page and can also cut out and glue pictures or tree samples in the spaces provided after the book is printed.

7. Newsletter "Caring For The Earth"
Each day duyring the unit, gather the students together to discuss what they have learned or discovered. Responses should be listed on board or chart paper (w/ student's name written after their response). Highlight ot underline three responses. Then have those three students type their responses on the computer. Take the opportunity to work with the group of three and review or introduce - compuer start-up, word processing, saving and retriving work. Title the document "Caring For The Earth." Each day through out the unit, allow a different group of three students to do the same. By the end of the unit, each child should have the opportunity to add their discovery or response to the document on the computer. At the end of the unit, this information will be incorporated into a newsletter which will be shared school, family and friends. Then distributed at our "Earth Party."



St. Thomas Aquinas College, 125 Route 340, Sparkill NY 10976-1050