Barbaree Ash Duke: Water, Water Everywhere: Cross-Curricular Approaches to Studying Water

Barbaree, a 20 year veteran K-20 educator in English and technology, currently writes curriculum, teaches professional development in Curriculum Integration and GIS in Education, and tutors students at her home base, Covington, Louisiana.

Geography is never discipline-specific!  Even a theme like “fresh water” should not be narrowed just to the science community.  Embrace the cross-curricular ties that exist within your curriculum.  You don’t have to teach something new, just teach what you already do in a different way.  This type of integration has great powers to teach your students to think, a skill we often expect rather than teach.  Before you decide I’m crazy and reaching for my magic wand, let’s explore the possibilities.  Let’s analyze how studying water can connect with all four core curricular areas.  I have a real-world…already tried it…works great with real kids… example!

Here’s what happened…I was teaching 7th grade English on a middle school team of four teachers.  One afternoon we’re discussing upcoming classroom content.  As the math teacher starts sharing about her water project, the science teacher chimes in, “Hey, I could move things around and do pH studies then.  We can test their home water and compare with school water.”  Not to be left out, the social studies teacher and I start thinking too.  In short fashion, we created a team-wide water unit.  The results were fantastic.  Our students could see the connections across the curriculum, and it prompted them to think about similar connections in the future.  This collaboration led to many other collaborative projects among the four subjects.  The proof was in the test scores at the end of the year!

Continue reading Barbaree’s full post on her blog!

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