Guiding us with this big project is Catie, a Water Quality Specialist. She came this morning to read a story, talk with the children about the water cycle, and to teach a game. She'll return a week from today, 4/29, to assist the children in planning their garden.
Here Catie is talking with the children about her job as a Water Quality Specialist. She then read The Puddle Garden by Jared Rosenbaum.
Catie explained where water goes when it comes down from the sky. The conversation turned to drain water, and where it goes. We learned that drain water goes right to the river, without being cleaned. We figured a lot of dirt, oil, gas, leaves, and other junk could go directly to the river and affect human and fish/animal life in a negative way.
The children then played a game with a partner. There were papers all over the room, each with a part of the water system - plants, rivers, clouds, and so on. Starting at one station, partners became imaginary water droplets. They rolled a die to find out where to go next. The storm drain station had a die that had only ONE place on all six sides - the Huron River.
During round two, the children played again. This time, the storm drain station was replaced with a rain garden station. This time, the water could go to other places besides the Huron River. Rain gardens, we learned, help stop flooding, make a home for plants and animals, and let water droplets go through the water cycle.
This is such an important project - I hope your children are excited about the prospect of improving our school yard for years to come.