Second Grade Environment as an Integrating Context (EIC) Units

The second grade curriculum revolves around the EIC curricular framework. Three project-based units use the local environment and community as an integrating context for learning. These hands-on, integrated community investigations engage us in real-world explorations of natural and social systems. Second grade students study forest resources, conservation, environmental laws and regulations, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

 

Fantastic Forests
The first unit focuses on how understanding the system of the forest can guide how we take care of it and how the forest will provide for us. Students use the South Mountain forest to conduct various learning experiences to determine how our choices in using forest resources have a variety of effects on the forest environment.  Students apply local forest knowledge to visit other area forests and state parks. Students gain an awareness of how to utilize the forest resources in sustainable ways and create an action plan for how to protect our region’s forests. The unit culminates with an environmental service-learning project based on the natural and social systems interactions they discovered during the unit and student voice.

 

Then and Now
The focus of this investigation is for students to explore how the inventions and innovations have impacted the local community, our local environment, our state and our country both positively and negatively.  Explorations of simple machines, biographies of inventors, and a student-led invention fair are all used to help students acquire an understanding of the consequences of innovation. Students partner with Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Center to learn about disabilities and how technological innovations have improved the daily functioning and quality of life for people.  We need to understand how innovations have impacted our environment and community, both positively and negatively so that we can make informed decisions about the use of innovations in our future. The unit culminates with an environmental service-learning project based on the natural and social systems interactions they discovered during the unit and student voice.

Resources, Resources, Everywhere
The focus of this investigations is an endeavor to minimize our negative impact on the environment. Our school needs a greater awareness and systematic method of managing our use and disposal of resources.  Students will learn about renewable and nonrenewable resources by focusing on what we use each day in our classroom, school, home and community and develop a sense of responsibility for the wise use of resources.