Ideas for Program Integration into Classrooms
We feel that the programs here at High Rocks can be integrated into your classrooms at school to create a more holistic learning experience. Experiential learning is valuable because it creates an immediate, consequential application of knowledge. Bridging what happens from the classroom to the field and vice versa will make your school’s LEAP programs more effective. Following are a few suggestions for bridging the gap in between the classroom and the field.
- Begin a project at school that can be completed here or vice-versa.
- Hold a couple of 1 hour academic “field” classes taught by your school’s faculty (being in a different environment can create a new dynamic between the teacher and student).
- Create class goals during or near the end of the program for when they return to school.
For example: A lesson on trees: while they are here they can learn about different tree species. Back home they can visit a lumberyard, tree farm, a furniture factory or help build a house with Habitat, inventory trees around their house or school in order to understand the ways in which trees are used in society. These findings can be used to create an essay or project.
- Create worksheets for the bus ride up or sheets that have the students research the area before they get here.
- Physical fitness, significance of teamwork, rotating leadership, planning, risk-taking, trusting, can all be incorporated from most of the LEAP experiences.
- Service Learning: Now that they have learned to understand and appreciate each other, find out more about their own communities through service.
- Leadership diversity and reaching a common goal. How can you use your decision making processes learned here back at school on sports teams, student council/government, and class officers? Integrate how ideas may work in our local, state, and national political forma of government.
- DupontForest is an area we use for almost every program. It has a wonderful geological and political history. We give some brief information during our hike; you could spend a lot of time on the political history back in the classroom. Ideas like green spaces, eminent domain, watershed protection, and public interest. Visit www.dupontforest.com for more details
- Create a photo essay of the program:
- (6th grade) Each student has 1 or 2 disposable cameras. After taking the photos, each student puts together a photo essay of the trip along with a one-page report describing the experience.
- Keep a journal starting one week before the program continuing through one week past the program. Include all thoughts, insights, discoveries, etc.
- Read books that focus specifically on the culture and natural history of the southern Appalachian Mountains. Trail of Tears, Cold Mountain, and the Education of Little Tree are all great titles.
- ResearchPisgahNational Forest, the National Forest Service, Blue Ridge Parkway, Cradle of Forestry and/or National Park Service.
- Research the geological history of the Appalachian Mountains.
- Create lessons on the Cherokee culture, homesteading, Appalachian culture and music.
- An experiment that could be conducted during the program.
- Environmental and/or climate differences (from home to here)
- Simple Physics: Climbing strength and gravity, falling; canoeing and hydrology, buoyancy
- Flora and fauna of the southern Appalachians, especially threatened or endangered (i.e. Peregrine falcon).
- Invasive plants and the environment.
- Post trip focus on food waste, energy, and the environment
- Hydroelectric power: dams, recreation, and electricity in the mountains.
- Stream ecology: differences between here and home; water quality
- Waterfalls: Transylvania County has hundreds.
- Topographical map and compass (orienteering) work in the classroom before or after the trip. Introduce GPS, and use “geocaching” as a new tool for interest in navigation.
- Expeditionary Behavior -Learning to take care of yourself, your stuff, and your team. How this applies to life and those around you. More on Expeditionary Behavior
- Independence/Interdependence –
- Leadership –
- Teamwork – What it means to be part of a team. Where do I fit in. How my roles changes
- Measure the height of trees or other large structures using trigonometry.
- Introduction to mapping and/or Geographic Information Systems based on orienteering skills learned during LEAP program.
- Physics: Mechanical advantages, directional pulls, etc.
- Principles of buoyancy: canoeing and rafting activities.
Not all of these ideas may work with your specific program. Do you have any other ideas? Please submit any ideas that work for you.