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|Project Title: ||Walking Wednesday|
|School Year: ||2006|
|School - District:||Franklin - Newton|
|Contact Name:||Beth Ann Nohmy and Sharon Foster|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
Once (or more) a month, students will have a one hour Physical Education/Health and Wellness class (in addition to their other 1/2 hour class). The focus will be both walking for improved fitness, wellness and a tour related to their classroom curriculum. The walk will take them to a predetermined location (park, historical site, police station or location for community service activity). After each walk, students will highlight a large map, identifying where they have been. Sample activities may include:
•documenting information from a pedometer for graphing, assessing predicting, averaging, etc.
•writing a poem about a tree
•drawing and comparing pictures of various trees during the 4 seasons
•looking for and identifying insects, butterflies and their habitats
•performing a dance or reading poetry at a ‘nursing home’
•walking to the police dept. for a safety talk
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
The Walking Wednesday program addresses the environmental wellness component that hasn't been addressed at the Franklin School since we shifted to a Wellness Program (from a strictly physical education program) a few years ago.
|Service Component: |
The program also addressed a parcel of land in the front of the school that was very neglected and in poor shape. All 2nd and 3rd grade students worked together to provide that space with a beautiful butterfly garden. The butterfly garden took approximately 2 hours of the students time and it will not only the serve the population of the Franklin School, but the surrounding community and Newton as a whole.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
The butterfly garden ties into both the 2nd and 3rd grade science, literacy and physical education curriculums. Students study trees, identified plant life and other organisms that use trees and plants for their habitat. (PreK-2 Life Science strands 1, 3, 7, and 8) The students kept journals and were given the opportunity to make observations of the various environments. (English Language Arts strands 19.7, 19.13) Finally, fitness was always a core component as we walked to our destinations. (Comprehensive Health strands 2.4-2.7)
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Students can help decide where to walk or the route the class takes to reach their destination. They can also take a more active approach to the map in which they record their walk. By being required to update the map, students, while on the walk, will be more observant of their surroundings.
|Student Reflection Component: |
Students had the opportunity to compare and contrast their trees as they changed with seasons in their journals. They also were able to express how the butterfly garden will help various areas such as: people, animals and plants and the community.
|Community Partners Involved: |
Community Partners could include a local sporting goods store that could be asked to donate pedometers, or the local Police Department or sports team could come to school to talk about how important physical fitness is to their job. For the butterfly garden component of the project, gardening stores or nature centers could be utilized for their merchandise and expertise.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
Our butterfly was our celebration and seeing it each day is a joy for all involved. Further celebration could include a dedication of the garden with local leaders in attendance.
|Evaluation of Project's Impact:|
A great way to evaluate the Walking Wednesday project would be to chart how many miles the students walked or the time they spent walking and compare their exercise to what is recommended by doctors. They could also present to younger students about the value of walking not only for personal health but how walking, instead of driving for example, can help the environment. The Butterfly Garden could be evaluated by a presentation of what species of butterfly they would hope to see in the garden. These presentations can be presented in class and then posted for the public in the garden.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
Having two grades levels and trying to schedule the time once a month to go a walk was challenging. Sometimes we were faced with not enough volunteers and the weather wasn’t always cooperative. We have brainstormed various ideas on how to address these issues and we will implement them next year.
* NOTE: This project summary was written by the district/community. Any text in italics was added or modified by the Department (ESE). Most of these projects were supported with Learn & Serve America funds distributed through the ESE.