Protect Our Earth - Jewish Day School

Protect Our Earth

Fall 2017: Cross Grade Collaboration

By Addison, Ed, Norah and Rachel, 5th Grade

In 4th grade we learned about the salmon life cycles and ecosystems. We learned about how human activity, such as river dams, affects the environment like blocking salmon from returning to their home stream. In 4th and 5th grade we learned about surviving in the Amazon rain forest. We learned a lot about being resourceful and using what materials we had to complete several design challenges. This unit culminated in building a model of a tree house. In the process, we realized we needed to keep our resources neat and organized or else the little tape and tin foil we had would curl up into a big fat ball of garbage that we could no longer use. Just like we take care of our resources and materials in a project, we have to take care of our earth’s resources.

For a second year, we returned to the trails to continue our service and we cleaned the ground that was filled with leaves. The leaves blocked the drainage and by removing them and allowing the water to flow, we helped both hikers and nature. Nature and hikers benefited from our work because the hillsides may have flooded and water may not have gotten to the places that actually did need the water. Also, many people like to hike and it's no fun to hike on soggy, mushy trails. We really enjoyed the experience.

The 4th and 5th graders have been studying the Mitzvah Shimirat Hateva. Shimirat Hateva's meaning is to protect nature or the earth. Our study of this led to the action of working at the parks. We learned that we must be selfless and make sacrifices like being cold, wet, and dirty; though at the end of the day we knew we were doing the right thing. We also learned that even though some people complained, that if you look on the bright side and be optimistic anything can be fun.

This field trip also connects to the 5th grade Torah unit, Parshat Yitro. This connects to our unit because Yitro and Moshe were protecting/helping the nation while the 4th and 5th grade were protecting/helping nature. The study of Yitro and learning how he and Moshe helped the people lead to us helping the nature and understanding how big of a deal it is to help the world.