Project 1: Project Rivers

Logo General Information
Project Overview
General Goals
Curriculum Connections
Resource Connections

  General Information

Lead Teachers: Gilda Parsons - Learning Resource Teacher

Rosalind Tuff - Grade 4 Classroom Teacher

Marie-Louise Greene - Grade 4 Classroom Teacher

School: Vanier Elementary
75 Ennis Avenue
St. John's, NF
A1A 1Y7
Grade Level: Grade 4
Number of Students: 50-55
Project Start and Finish Dates: April 1997 to June 1997

  Project Overview

Grade 4 classes at Vanier would like to join Project Rivers. Learning about aquatic environments, animal habitats and the human impact on these is a major focus of the Grade 4 Science and Social Studies Programs with related objectives in Health and R eligion. Many of the process skills required to complete this project are found throughout the Grade 4 Curriculum and have been identified in our school-based Learning Skills Continuum.

This project will allow students to take ownership of a section of the Virginia River and will provide them with valuable hands-on experiences in addressing one important environmental issue: Our responsibility for stewardship of aquatic environments.

Grade 4 students will undertake the care of their section of the river on an ongoing basis. Results of water tests, general litter cleanup and information on public awareness campaigns will be posted on our school's home page to be shared with partner schools. Initiatives originating from other schools will also be explored.

  General Goals

As a result of their involvement in this project, students will:

  • learn how to collect, interpret, evaluate, organize and present scientific data from the environment
  • gain an appreciation of river environments and the need to keep them clean
  • identify the impact of human activity on river environments
  • develop a sense of responsibility in relation to the environment.

  Curriculum Connections

Students will observe an aquatic environment in the local area and the creatures that are part of that environment. They will:

  • recognize how the human species has affected the environment
  • understand the term habitat as an environment in which an organism lives
  • explore and define a number of familiar plant and animal habitats
  • identify the basic requirements of any habitat - food, shelter, water and space.

Social Studies
Students will gain an understanding of:

  • how the environment affects people's way of living and how people in turn, modify and change the environment
  • the need for conservation in the utilization of natural resources
  • how people everywhere satisfy their basic needs in interaction with their natural environment.

Students will understand that:

  • nature is not something science can completely conquer and control but something wonderful and complex that science must attempt to understand, respect and co-operate with
  • we are not the owners of creation but stewards who must accept a share of the responsibility for what happens to the world.

Students will:

  • recognize the value of clean air and water for everyday life
  • understand the responsibility of government, community groups and individuals for maintaining an aesthetic and healthful environment
  • create a plan to address an environmental (air or water) issue in the home, school or community.

Process Skills
Students will:

  • collect and organize data from the environment
  • construct and interpret tables, graphs and charts
  • draw meaningful conclusions
  • use different types of writing to ask questions, find topics, develop ideas, compare with the ideas of others and describe feelings
  • develop note taking techniques
  • write for specific purposes
  • participate in group decision making.

Technology Learning Outcomes (Communication Domain - Elementary Level)
Students will:

  • understand the nature of online communications and its limitations
  • identify real life communication problem situations and opportunities
  • identify ways in which information and communication technologies are used
  • develop a vocabulary of terminology and language related to selected communication technologies
  • use communication technologies to build new knowledge from existing information
  • use communication technologies to communicate with students, teachers and others at a distance.

  Resource Connections

The Stellar Schools Internet connection will enable students to share and exchange information with students at other sites. Our school-wide LAN (Windows NT Server) will allow students to access Internet resources from any of the more than 30 workstations throughout the school.

Students will use a variety of print, non-print and human resources throughout this project. We have already established a connection with the Virginia River Conservation Society and St. John's Clean and Beautiful. We also hope to get involved in the salmon hatchery program, since our site on the river is the nursery where salmon are released. We will explore the history of the Virginia River by studying maps, aerial photographs, etc. and through interviews with long time residents of the area.


The learning outcomes previously listed will be used to determine the level of achievement of students. We will also use anecdotal records and observation by the teachers involved. Students will keep accurate records of their test results and observations. Emphasis will be placed on the process skills employed. Group decision making will play an important role in compiling data and organizing information for presentation.

As a result of this project, students will address an important environmental issue in their local community. The Internet will connect them with other groups and individuals who share their interest in and concern for aquatic environments.

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