Find out about DWoK! Student Page Language Arts Math Science Bibliography Science: Lesson Two


The following is an example of an integrated, multidisciplinary DwoK philosophy based lesson.

Exploring My Backyard

Grade Level: 7th

Ronan School District Science Standards Addressed:

385-Understands how species depend on one another and on the environment for survival
429-Understands environmental and external factors that affect individual and community health:
Understands the distribution of ecosystems from local to global scales.

Environmental Education: Excellence in EE-Guidelines for Learning

Gr.5-8 Strand 2.2: Learners understand that biotic communities are made up of plants and animals that are adapted to live in particular environments.

Social Studies: People, Places, and Environment (Mission Valley Consortium Social Studies Curriculum Guide- Revised Version 1997)

Locate geographic positions, using latitude, longitude, strategic sties, and maritime and time zones.
Create, interpret and use various representations of the earth, such as maps, globes and photographs.
Estimate distance; calculate scale, and other geographic relationships such as population density and spatial distribution patterns.

Language Arts: Montana Standards for Writing

Content Standard 1: Students write clearly and effectively.

Benchmark #2- develop a main idea through relevant supporting details.
Benchmark #3-demonstrate some control of voice, sentence structure, and word choice.

Visual Arts: Mission Valley Consortium Standards

Content Standard 2: Knows how to use the structures (sensory qualities, organization, principals, expressive features) and functions in art.
Benchmark A: know the functions of art and the effects of the principles of visual are (line, color, shape, repetition, rhythm and balance).
Benchmark C: Use different media, techniques and processes to communicate ideas, experiences and stories.

Overall Objective: This unit is designed to introduce students to the philosophy of Dwok and integrated learning. The lessons integrate Social Studies, Visual Arts, Language Arts, and Science. This unit should be taught as an opening to a larger multi-disciplinary unit.


Charcoal (for rubbings), pencils, construction paper (colored and white), rubberbands, small sticks,


Day 1: What do I already know about exploring places?

Brainstorm class list of places we have visited. Discuss what is familiar about them, similar, different and so on.

What does the term "physical environment" mean? Discuss as whole class.

Begin making "Field Journals"

Field Journals

Materials: construction paper, small stick, rubberband, and hole punch

1. Cut 2 sheets of colored construction paper and 8 sheets of white (9inches x 6inches). Punch two holes on the left edge (4 inches apart and centered).

2. Thread rubberband through one hole and over the end of stick. Pull rubberband through to other hole; thread through and over the other end of stick (the stick and rubberband act as the binder)

3. On the front cover, students need to draw or paste pictures of things that are special to them. Because this is a science journal to be used for a nature activity, the pictures should have something to do with nature.

Day 2 - Finish up the Field Journals.

Discuss observation techniques. What are the senses? How do we utilize them to make observations? Practice several techniques for sketching: Freehand sketch, charcoal/graphite rubbings, descriptive words. Use items that are in the classroom and familiar to all students.

Day 3 - Mapping techniques. What are the elements of a map? What is it important to map? Where will we be mapping and what things do we want to include?

In small groups, practice making maps by mapping the classroom. Be sure to include all the elements needed on a map (compass rose, map key, scale).

Day 4 - Field Excursion to the Park.

Station #1: Nature Rubbings

Materials - charcoal, graphite, rice paper (or paper towels)

Activity: Students will choose a minimum of 5 objects in the park and using the above materials will make rubbings of these objects. These rubbings should capture the texture of the object and possibly the shape or outline. Remind students that they do not have to rub the entire object if they so choose. Small parts of the objects are just as acceptable.

Station #2: Senses Activity

Materials: Journal and pencil

Activity: Choose 7 of the 10 items from this list. Record what you discover in your journals.

1. Look at the sky. Describe it.

2. See, feel, smell and taste the grass. Describe it.

3. See, feel, smell and taste a leaf. Describe it.

4. Find a nice or unusual tree. Describe it.

5. Find a bug. Describe it.

6. Find a rock with personality. Describe it.

7. Find a flower. Describe it.

8. See, feel and smell dirt. Describe it.

9. Listen! How many different sounds can you hear? Name and describe them.

10. Find an unusual object that is part of nature. Describe it.

Station #3: Mapping the Park

Materials: 1cm Graph Paper, Pencil

Activity: Using the graph paper as the scale, create a map of the park. The map should be complete with scale, orientation, map key. Be sure to include all the major features of the park including trees, flower beds, stream, duck nesting areas, play areas, benches, etc.


Students will prepare a short 2-3minute presentation of their discoveries at the park. The presentations should include information from all three stations and should also include the journals in some way.

Questions to consider during presentations and when reviewing journals:

1. What types of information do they include in their presentations?

2. What level of detail do they achieve?

3. Is each presentation logically organized? Focused?

4. Does the presentation succeed in informing its audience?

5. What interests or surprises the audience about each group presentation?

6. What does the audience learn?

Additional Websites:

to the top of the page