Who is entitled to natural beauty?
Fourth grade students worked collaboratively to transform their experiences and understanding of geology into a product that encourages other members of the community to engage in geology activities in our local natural spaces.
The fourth graders worked together as friends, geologists, and adventurers to explore the diverse geology of our local environment. Through many fieldwork
experiences, including an overnight camping trip, students explored the varied geology in the desert, mountain, valley, and coast regions of San Diego. This included geology-focused hikes at Mission Trails Regional Park (variety of rock types, subduction zone,) Tourmaline Beach (sedimentary layers of rocks and fossils,) Calavera Lake (an extinct volcano,) a gold mine in the town of Julian, and an overnight to Anza Borrego Desert State Park (visit to Paleontology lab, hike through slot canyon.)
Students further developed their understanding of landforms and rock types through lab experiences in science exploratory and through expert visits. Students assisted the Natural History Museum by excavating and interpreting real fossils from our local area.
Students worked in partnership with the San Dieguito River Park and San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy to focus on the driving question “How can we use our experiences as geologists to provide access for our community to San Diego’s physical landscape?” Students worked collaboratively to transform
their understanding of geology into a product that encourages other members of the community to engage in geology activities in our local natural spaces.
Each student created a unique colored pencil illustration and nonfiction narrative about a geological topic. The collection of work was published as informative “cards” to be used by other children and families. Cards are also distributed by the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy to “Junior Members” as encouragement and a resource when exploring the San Diequito River Park and other natural spaces in San Diego County.
Additionally, students excavated marine fossils from 45 million-year-old local rock material in collaboration with the San Diego Natural History Museum (“The NAT.”) Their specimens of snails and clams will become part of the museum’s research collection.
Social/Emotional/Community: Connect with fourth grade community,
show care to others and our spaces, support others in taking risks on
adventures together, persevere through challenging work and experiences, work collaboratively, present learning to an authentic audience
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Common Core Language Arts: