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The Stone Wall Initiative (SWI) promotes the appreciation, investigation, and conservation of stone walls in New England. SWI emphasizes the cultural, natural, and aesthetic resources provided by historic walls, which are the closest thing New England has to classical ruins. Materials available at the site include news articles; links to books and other publications; and links to information on public ... Full description.
Grade level: Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5), Middle (6-8), General public
Resource type: Lesson plan, Photograph, Ref. material
Subject: Ecology, Geology, Mineralogy or petrology
 
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The Stone Wall Initiative (SWI) offers educational materials at three basic levels of engagement. For younger students, there is a classroom curriculum based on the book 'Stone Wall Secrets'. This curriculum features a series of lesson plans with activities, content standards, learner background information and objectives, instructions, and closure materials. Worksheets and handouts for students and ... Full description.
Grade level: Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5), Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Curriculum, Ref. material, Book - text
Subject: Ecology, Geology, Mineralogy or petrology
 
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In this lesson, younger students will learn to recognize the properties of selected rocks. After participating in a read-aloud, the students will examine a variety of polished rocks, and take a walk outside to find their own rocks. As a closure activity, they are directed to explore other unique rocks at home and bring them in for class discussion and sorting. Full description.
Grade level: Primary (K-2)
Resource type: Field activity, Lesson plan
Subject: Geology, Mineralogy or petrology
 
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This activity is designed to help students develop appreciation and ownership for the natural world around them with the hope of increasing their interest in exploring and questioning the processes that created land forms. Some familiarity with stone walls and with colonial New England is helpful; the students should learn to understand how human endeavors affect the landscape. After taking a nature ... Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5)
Resource type: Field activity, Lesson plan
Subject: Human geography, Geology
 
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In this lesson, students will learn why and how stone walls were built. A prior knowledge of New England colonists and the history of New England is helpful. After a directed reading and discussion, they will take a nature walk to an area where they can examine a stone wall. The students will then use notebook and pencil to sketch the wall and make observations of the stones, the plants growing nearby, ... Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5)
Resource type: Field activity, Lesson plan
Subject: Human geography, Geology
 
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In this lesson, students will understand that local rocks are different and are used in various ways. Following a directed reading and discussion, the students engage in an activity in which they 'dig up' rocks from a sand-filled bucket and state what type of rock they think it is and why. Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Geology
 
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In this lesson, students will learn that continental plates drift and this affects the layers of the earth. Following a directed reading and discussion, they will perform an experiment in which they use chocolate frosting and graham crackers to simulate tectonic plates sliding about on the mantle. Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Geology
 
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In this lesson, students will investigate how glaciers affect the landscape in the context of wondering how the rocks used in the stone walls first got into the ground. Following a directed reading and discussion, they will perform an activity in which they use ice cubes and a bucket of sand to simulate the effects of a glacier. Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Cryology, Geology
 
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In this lesson, students will understand that humans affect their local landscape for various reasons. Following a directed reading and discussion, they will list five facts they have learned, and use their imaginations to draw and color a small farm in Connecticut as it might have appeared 200 years ago. Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Human geography, Geology
 
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In this lesson, students will understand that objects from space may also affect the Earth's surface. Following a review of previous lessons and readings, they will perform an activity in which they drop rocks into a container of flour and cocoa powder to simulate meteorite impacts. Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Geology, Space science
 
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