Friday, October 03, 2008

Head of the Cloud

Fourth graders from Vance-Providence Elementary School visited the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest. In addition to walking the 1.75-mile boardwalk through the old-growth, cypress-tupelo swamp, students learned about the water cycle using an adaptation of Project Learning Tree's Head of the Cloud.

In order to understand the swamp ecosystem and the dangers it faces, citizens must understand the water cycle. The Head of the Cloud activity had students moving between eight stations (cloud, bluff, groundwater, animals, plants, Singletary Stream, Atlantic Ocean, and the swamp). At each station, students read a strip describing what happened to their water molecule at that stop. For example, they may have evaporated and condensed into a cloud or they may have been consumed by an otter. After ten stops, the students have enough information to write descriptive accounts of their journey through the water cycle. Using their experiences and their unique stories, students can help educate the community regarding the journey South Carolina's water makes, in part through the swamp, from the mountains to the sea!

Image by Mark Musselman

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