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 investigation focuses on how understanding the parts of a forest can guide how we take care of it and how it will take care of us. Students explore the South Mountain Gateway trail and conduct various investigations to determine how our choices in using forest resources have a variety of effects on the forest environment. As a result of this investigation, students gain an awareness of how to utilize forest resources in a sustainable way.


Then and Now
The second investigation focuses on how inventions have impacted our community, our local environment, our state, and our country both positively and negatively. Studies of simple machines, biographies of inventors, and an invention fair are all used to help students develop an understanding of the consequences of innovation. Students write letters to pen pals at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Center, learn about the pen pals’ disabilities, and find out about the technological innovations used to improve their quality of life. At the end of the unit, students culminate their pen pal experience with a meet and greet picinic and share inventions with each other.

Resources, Resources, Everywhere
The final second grade investigation focuses on the use of renewable and non-renewable resources and the impact they have on the environment. Students learn about alternative energy sources and ways we can conserve our valuable natural resources on a daily basis. Renewable and nonrenewable resources are categorized and the environmental impact of their uses are determined. The natural resources used to make common products are mapped to show students where in the world the resources were obtained. Students visit businesses in Emmaus and conduct interviews to determine how they use resources in their business and ways they try to conserve them.