One of the most exciting and engaging parts of our EL curriculum is the incorporation of Field Studies into our everyday learning. Field Studies at Detroit Prep have a clear purpose that enriches the work of our module topics while allowing students to be researchers, scientists, and authors. First graders second module topic of the year was all about The Sun, Moon, and Stars! To launch this module and to build students’ curiosity and enthusiasm about this topic, we took a trip for our first field study of the year to Cranbrook Institute of Science.
As a school we really want to focus on bringing authenticity to the forefront of student learning, and that is exactly what this field study did! Students were able to hear from experts, explore many exhibits about space and view a presentation in the planetarium about the nighttime sky and constellations. They were given opportunities to brainstorm, while recording observations, wonderings, and information. Our visit to this local museum directly connected our academic content to a specific purpose in the outside world.
Later in the year, we moved on to our next module topic- BIRDS! We studied and become experts on birds through the end of the year. With such a long period of time, students were given the chance to dive deep in this content and go on more exciting field studies. First, we directly connected what we were learning in the classroom by observing local birds in their natural habitat and understanding different ways we can take care of birds. The experience of going on field study to gather information while building background knowledge is empowering and thought-provoking. Students put their knowledge to the test by “showing off” what they learned about birds by creating a high quality final product at the end of the year. We are so excited to continue to watch our 1st grade researchers in action!