On Tues., Mar. 19, the staff members at Kujawa Elementary School turned the campus’ grounds into the ultimate campgrounds to give fourth grade students a unique real-life, learning experience.
In this cross-curricular activity, staff members armed students with maps, compass roses, thermometers, measuring tapes, binoculars, sleeping bags, and tents. The students were placed in groups; each group received a packet with a problem from each subject area.
Before the students began their day, they stopped at the trail mix station to engage in their first learning experience of using a 1/3 measuring cup to create a bag of trail mix using at least six ingredients. They checked their starting time as well as made observations about the temperature and the types of cloud formations.
Next, the young campers began moving toward their destination at the Kujawa EC/PK Center. Along the way, they observed the inhabitants of the ecosystem in the center’s garden. As the students engaged in discussions about the garden’s plant and animal life, they reflected on their own life’s journey. While at the EC/PK Center, the students were invited to see the workman change out the aquarium. This experience helped them make text-to-world connections from stories they had read about the coral reefs.
Once back at the campsite, the students set up tents by first determining the area and perimeter. To continue with the camping experience, students enjoyed chili cooked by Lita Killebrew and making s’mores. For the latter, teacher Jacob Elmhorst set up several small grills for the campers to toast their marshmallows.
At the end, the students headed to the cafeteria to reflect on the day’s activities while Cornita McDaniel and Linda Johnson led the students in a review of the writing process and how to use the camping experience to help them with their writing.
Principal Debera Thomas and Nadine Kujawa, former AISD superintendent and the schools’ namesake, showed their support by visiting with students and observing the engaged learning taking place. The fourth grade staff team comprised of Lita Killebrew, Rhonda Merriweather, Laurie Ellington, Linda Johnson, Benjamin Valle, Roberto Velázquez, Nancy White, and Jacob Elmhorst are proud the students enjoyed the educational camping experience.
“When you hear students say ‘This was the best day of school ever!’ and ‘If you have never been camping, you haven’t lived!’ you know you are doing something right,” said Kim Corrick, International Baccalaureate coordinator at the Kujawa Center. “The students were very engaged in all the planned activities. This was certainly a best practice in teaching and learning.”
In the image above, Johnson’s fourth grade class is pictured exploring different types of soil. Below are more images from the camping activity.
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