College-level field mapping in elementary school
Probably the most ambitious project undertaken in my pilot Nature Studies program at Harborview, 1989 and 1990, was a stem mapping project across Glacier Avenue, into Evergreen Cemetery. I’ve never considered that place ‘wild’–the sort of field trip destination our naturalists prefer.
But ‘wild’ is relative, especially to a third-grader. Certainly succession happens here too. And what better place to teach basic mapping skills and concepts? Mowed grass is exceptionally tolerant of crowds. And the broken-stick tree-height measuring method is so much easier to explain than in a crowded, canopy-conflating forest.
In fall, 2017, I revisited the 27-year-old plots with Montessori teachers and their students. This adventure is recounted in a 13-minute slideshow, streamable from JuneauNature. But for the strong-at-heart, who want to make maps with children, the whole project is laid out in my 46-page journal-&-materials package.