Participating School: Grant Elementary School
Lead Teachers: Keith Blascow
Participating Classes: 5th

Overview: “How have invasive species impacted (or altered) the Petaluma Watershed?” Students will explore this questions by documenting what organisms are native to this ecosystem. Then, they will determine what, if any, organisms (plant or animal) need to be restored along the river and/or creek.


Curriculum Highlights

Key Learning Objectives: To learn what a healthy ecosystem is and what can happen when the ecosystem and the web in it is altered or disrupted.

Geoliteracy Integration: Students will learn why and how non-native species are introduced into an ecosystem as well as what effect they have on the system. For the Petaluma Watershed specifically, they will find out what species are native and what species are non-native. Then, they will investigate how some of these species might have been introduced into the watershed. They will also research what happened in the local watershed when they were introduced and what it has done to change the dynamic of the area.

Fieldwork Activities:

We will begin to learn about our local watershed by going on a field trip and recording what we find. The students will bring their journals with them to take notes, draw plants and animals, as well as record their location (landmarks, markers, etc.). Back in the classroom, students will work to identify the native and non-native species and try to determine how some of them got there and what effect they have had on the area. They will also investigate if any of the species are endangered.

READ MORE about the Fieldwork Activities in this project.

CA Curriculum Standards Addressed

LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
LS2.B: Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes

READ MORE about the CA Curriculum Standards addressed by this project.