Examining Local Context
Examining the Local Context
The Chesapeake Bay is an abundant context for learning. Investigating the watershed often begins in a classroom but soon moves beyond the traditional classroom walls. Teachers may choose to focus activities on one or more of a wide range of settings:
- classrooms or other in-house facilities, such as laboratories
- developed areas of school campus, including playgrounds or athletic fields
- undeveloped school property, such as fields and woodlands
- on-site study areas, such as the parking lot
- off-site study areas, including both natural habitats and community settings.
With the teacher's guidance, a class might select as their center of interest for learning about the Chesapeake Bay watershed a context, such as one of the following:
- a creek running behind the playground
- a schoolyard as a habitat for plants• a schoolyard as a habitat for animals
- a small plot of grass in the schoolyard
- a parking lot near the schoolyard
- the landscaping on or near the schoolyard (including native and introduced species).
Teachers and students will find additional contexts for learning that are specific to their local surroundings.
Teacher Planning Activity
What are the contexts in your area for studying the Chesapeake Bay watershed? Sometimes it is helpful to brainstorm the various settings available to you and your students. You could start by thinking small, then moving to a broader context. See Brainstorming Contexts handout PDF • Word.