Curriculum Standards

On Friday morning about 150 4th graders will participate in our first Pink Beds BioBlitz. We believe that children should connect to nature and observation is a way to achieve that connection. Observation is a ubiquitous skill, not just for the science fields. Students will find multiple species and, with the help of their teachers, environmental educators and naturalists, will have the opportunity to identify those species and loading them onto our iNaturalist project, “Pink Beds BioBlitz.” This opportunity invites them to ask questions about their specimens, observe small details and learn the fundamental differences between types of trees, insects, plants, etc.

The following categories in bold explain further curriculum standards for 4th grade that will be met during the BioBlitz.

Before coming to the Cradle:

4.G.1.3 Exemplify the interactions of various peoples, places and cultures in terms of adaptation and modification of the environment.

* We use the Pink Beds valley as an example of how geography and access to natural resources determined where people chose to live and developed small farms, pastures and orchards.

*We want to encourage the teachers to use Google Maps to show the students where they will be heading to in Pisgah National Forest. A topographical view exemplifies the features for why people chose to settle in the Pink Beds valley. Many of the roads in Pisgah National Forest are old logging roads. A logging train ran along Highway 276, passing Looking Glass waterfall along the way. During the bus ride to the Cradle of Forestry students will begin to visualize features they were shown on a map in the classroom.

Introduction to the Cradle of Forestry:

4.H.2.1 Explain why important buildings, statues, monuments, and place names are associated with the state’s history.

* The Cradle of Forestry in America gives North Carolina the status of First in Forestry. George W. Vanderbilt was the first private land owner to hire a forester (Gifford Pinchot in 1891) to care for his current and potential forests and to make their products a business venture. Pinchot’s successor, Dr. Carl Alwin Schenck, started America’s first forestry school, the Biltmore Forest School. The over 360 young men who attended earned jobs across the nation in forestry, wood product research, and private business.

Pisgah Forest Gem Mining:

4.P.2.2 Explain how minerals are identified using tests for the physical properties of hardness, color, luster, cleavage, and streak. 

4.P2.3 Classify rocks as metamorphic, sedimentary, or igneous based on their composition, how they are formed and the processes that create them.

Pisgah Forest Gem Mining is donating small buckets to each student to mine with on-site. This is a great chance for students to learn about the gems and minerals they may find in their bucket. Educators are available to compare the properties and classify the rocks.

Bees and Pollinators:

4.L.1.1 Give examples of changes in an organism’s environment that are beneficial to it and some that are harmful.

Pollinators are susceptible to small changes in their environment whether it be air quality, invasive pests, or quality of host and nectar plants. During the BioBlitz, students will view honeybees and learn about the Varroa mite, a small pest that does detrimental harm to wild honeybee populations. Students will learn the connections and importance of pollinators to diversity of live and how we acquire food. They will also be introduced to ways that humans can help benefit pollinator populations (i.e. planting native species of wildflowers).

4.G.1.3 Exemplify the interactions of various peoples, places and cultures in terms of adaptation and modification of the environment.

Hiram King, who lived in the Pink Beds valley,was a beekeeper of the late 1800’s. Beekeeping is a tradition still practiced today and an important tool in the education and conservation of all pollinators. Students will learn the role of pollinators in ecosystems and food production, as well as how human interactions with the environment affect populations of pollinators.

Risky Business- A Migration Game:

4.L.1.1 Give examples of changes in an organism’s environment that are beneficial to it and some that are harmful.

* The game, Migration: Risky Business, engages students in the incredible phenomenon of bird migration. Each plays the part of a bird that breeds in western North Carolina. How many will survive, benefitted by ample food and good weather along the way? How many will succumb to storms, food shortage, polluted habitats, or cats?

4.L.1.2 Explain how animals meet their needs by using behaviors in response to information received from the environment.

* The game, Migration: Risky Business, engages students in the incredible phenomenon of bird migration. Each plays the part of a bird that breeds in western North Carolina. Using a map of the Americas that shows species-specific migration routes, we discuss environmental factors, especially changing food requirements that stimulate the behavior of seasonal migration in neo-tropical migratory birds.

BioBlitz and iNaturalist:

4.L.2.1 Classify substances as food or non-food items based on their ability to provide energy and materials for survival, growth, and repair of the body.

* Food chains and energy webs are imbedded in the forest ecosystem. Through identifying various species students will learn food chains, producers, consumers, reducers (decomposers), and predator-prey relationships. Students will observe evidence of these processes in nature during these activities.

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