Environmental literacy : the ABC's of being a green school

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Sharpe, Doreen Ann
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
In recent years there has been a push toward getting children outside and learning more about nature. At the elementary school in which I teach, Lindsay Park Elementary School, in Kimberley, British Columbia, using nature to teach all disciplines, and literacy in particular, has been a strong focus over the past 12 years. My inquiry question for this project is: How are the literacy skills developed in a kindergarten through grade-three school using an environmental approach to teaching across the curriculum? This project was initially conceived as an action research project to be conducted in my elementary school, however, due to a prolonged and embattled province-wide strike during the research (April to September, 2014), the timeline of the project was modified from the fall of 2014 to the spring of 2015; another modification included adding personal reflections to the project in order to document this process as accurately as possible. Due to the strike, the action research that was initially planned was unable to take place yet many different activities occurred throughout the research period. These activities enriched and strengthened children’s literacy skills and further expanded their knowledge about the environment. Moreover, this project brought to light how the strike had an impact on teachers’ abilities to work collaboratively on school wide projects while attempting to build safe and caring classrooms. However, the school had some motivational environmental teaching moments that were facilitated singlehanded by a teacher or educational assistant. This project shares how the school provided environmental literacy learning in the aftermath of the strike.
K-3 school , teaching across the curriculum , environmental literacy learning , experiential teaching