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Curriculum Overview- Eco-studies: Colorado

Life Zones
Origin of Curriculum Idea:
Eco-week in Poudre School District is considered a teacher-directed
program. Therefore, teachers should create curriculum that best meets the
needs of the students s/he works with each year. Because of this, I am
creating a curriculum that supports the mission of Poudre School Districts
Eco-week program.
Mission Statement (Poudre School District):
The programs mission is to promote personal and social ethic of the human
role in the natural world and foster a sense of stewardship by focusing on
direct involvement of students in learning about the nature of science and
numerous natural sciences, as well as responsible social behavior.
Rationale:
Environmental education teaches children and adults how to learn about
and investigate their environment, and make intelligent decisions about
how they can take care of it (North American Association for Environmental
Education, 2005). This is important to keep in mind as I develop a
curriculum to support my schools fifth grade Eco-week trip. By helping
students to better understand the world around them, they are better able
to make informed decisions about their actions and understand how the
choices they make effect the world around them.
Colorado is a beautiful state that offers a myriad of flora and fauna due to
its extreme differences in elevation and landscape. Helping students better
understand the concept of life zones and what can be found in each is
important. This background knowledge will help them make informed
choices as they explore the Colorado landscape. It will give them a better
sense of their role in nature and how they should interact within it.
Overarching theme of Curriculum:
Cause and effect: changes in our world take place as a result of situations,
some caused by nature and others human-made.
21st Century Skills addressed:

Critical thinking and reasoning- analyzing evidence and drawing


conclusions based on that evidence.
Curriculum created by Melissa Dalrymple

Curriculum Overview- Eco-studies: Colorado


Life Zones

Information literacy- distinguishing fact from opinion. Converging


different lines of evidence from multiple sources to strengthen a
scientific conclusion.
Collaboration- listening to others ideas, and engaging in scientific
dialogues that are based on evidence- not opinion.
Self-direction- using persistence and perseverance. Generating
questions and designing ways to find answers.

Topics of study:
This curriculum will cover the following topics:

Colorados major life zones including: elevation, temperature,


precipitation, growing days
Weather and climate- the difference between the two and how they
affect the region
Flora and fauna found in each life zone
Adaptations made by flora and fauna
Food pyramids, chains, and webs
Cycle of a forest fire and its effects on the environment
Mountain Pine Beetle and its role in Colorado forests
Human impact on the environment

Curriculum created by Melissa Dalrymple