First Grade Environment as an Integrating Context (EIC) Units

The first grade primary investigations involve our neighborhood pond in the fall, agriculture in our community in the spring, and weather throughout the entire year with an extended focus in winter. In each EIC investigation, students explore natural and social systems to understand that the elements of these systems are interdependent.


Me and My Pond
In this unit, students identify and describe the natural components of a pond environment, including water, plants, and animals. Students recognize patterns, such as life cycles, that occur and reoccur in nature and they explain how natural systems influence one another. During this unit, students measure, collect, and track data regarding pond life, air temperature, weather conditions, water temperatures, and quality over time. They also identify the living things in our local pond systems and how weather affects the pond system components. Students explain and present how human actions can adversely and positively impact wetland habitats to the school and local communities. As a result of this investigation, students recognize the importance of wetland habitats to the environment and their impact on other natural systems.


Wild Weather
The Wild Weather investigation involves exploring the local community, Emmaus, to learn about weather systems and how people are affected by the weather on a daily basis. Students begin to recognize the elements of a typical weather report and how weather forecasting is helpful in making future plans. First grade students create and use various types of weather monitoring and measuring tools, discuss why weather forecasts can be inaccurate, and determine what meteorologists do to make the most accurate predictions. Students develop an understanding of severe types of weather, including floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards. The investigation also involves looking into the parts that comprise weather systems, that weather is a global occurrence, and how conditions in one place can affect the weather in different parts of the world.


Adventures in Agriculture
The Adventures in Agriculture unit is an exploration of agriculture, what agriculture is, and how it affects and is affected by the natural and human social systems that are parts of our daily lives. Students identify and describe the natural and social components of farm environments, including crops, animals, water, pests, buildings, and machinery. Through visits to multiple local farms, students investigate the different types of products, crops, and raw products that come from each type of farm. As students explore how human social systems affect farms, they also learn how farms affect local natural systems, and how agriculture can affect different groups in our society. First grade students design, develop, maintain, and sustain the organic gardens on campus and supply food to our school and local community.