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Would you like to visit your local site?


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Would you like to visit your local site?


Would you like to visit your local site?


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Where Are You Going?

Save the Earth’s limited resources by planning. Combine trips to go places. This early mapping experience helps pave the way to a greener lifestyle.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. How are you trying help the earth stay healthy? One good way is to plan trips in advance with your family. What do you need to do? Where do you need to go? Is your library near the park? Is the grocery near your school? When you drive, it takes energy to fuel a car or a bus. Can you walk or bike instead? Can you combine two or three trip destinations to conserve fuel? Carpool with someone?
    2. With your classmates, find out about greenhouse gases and why they are affecting the global climate. Brainstorm ways children and adults can reduce their carbon footprints—the amount of CO2 emitted by activities such as driving cars and using electricity. Then do this art project to help you see why it’s important to plan trips ahead of time.
    3. Cover your art area with recycled newspaper. On construction paper, use Crayola Washable Markers to mark where you might start a typical trip, where you usually stop along the way, and how you finish a typical neighborhood trip with your family. Are you meeting friends or doing errands? Going to practices or picking up groceries. Draw lines to show the routes you could take between the places you usually go. You’re making a map of the places you know!
    4. On your map, paint landmarks you see as you travel in your neighborhood. Is it a country scene or cityscape? Air-dry the paint.
    5. Measure the distances that you travel. Figure out how much less distance you could travel if you combine trips or share rides instead of making single trips to each destination. Share what you’re learning about conserving energy by taking shorter routes with your family and friends.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships.

    LA: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system.

    SCI: Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    SS: Examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.

    SS: Explore ways that the earth's physical features have changed over time in the local region and beyond and how these changes may be connected to one another.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Greenhouse Effect by David Reiter; The Environment: What Is the Water Cycle? What Is the Greenhouse Effect? By Michael Allaby; Earth in the Hot Seat: Bulletins from a Warming World by Marf Ferguson Delano

    Invite a local community member that works in the environmental safety profession to speak with the class about his work. Prior to the visit, students compose questions for the visitor. Afterwards, students post learning to a class blog.

    Students plan to interview adult family members about long-distance trips they are planning. Prior to the interviews, students work as a whole class to compose interview questions. Provide a word processed copy of all agreed-upon questions for each member of the class.

    After interviewing adult family members, students collaborate in small groups to organize the information they have researched. Analyze information and discuss several possible ways greenhouse gases can be emitted less through simple, thought out plans. Make a list of these for posting in the classroom.

    Organize a school yard field trip where students work in small groups to design a map to a typical destination. Students count the steps saved by combining trips instead of going back and forth on separate trips. Keep a log of differences.

    People living in the United States use six times more energy than the rest of the world and own one-third of all cars everywhere. Encourage students to study ways to cut down on energy use.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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