Earth Studies

Our Earth Studies program is at the heart of the curriculum, a model for teaching children to be knowledgeable stewards of our complex planet.

The Earth Studies curriculum offers experiences through which children increase their understanding and appreciation of the Earth and their connection to it. It aims to develop the skills and willingness to make decisions and take action to sustain the planet. Through the Earth Studies curriculum, we aim to increase each students' Earth literacy; that is, each students' understandings of the basic ways in which the environment works and the ways in which the Earth continues to sustain life.

The Earth Studies room is a fully equipped science laboratory with an extensive collection of science trade books. A vast collection of natural artifacts are on display and used regularly for student exploration. The science lab has an adjoining garden. Outdoor science education is also promoted by yearly overnight camping trips for grades 3—5. Additionally, all homeroom teachers integrate science into their “core curricula.”

Grade bands for the current year are Pre-K, K/1, 2/3, and 4/5. Students in Pre-K have science twice a week for a year, and engage in centers-based explorations of the following topics as outlined by the NYS Science Scope and Sequence:

Students in grades K—5 have science 3x/week for one semester. We are following units from the Amplify Curriculum. Below is a curriculum overview that is informing my year's plans. Although classes are bridged and our year's work is condensed into six months, all students will have exposure to life science, earth science, and physical science units this year.

Studies are inquiry-based, with students identifying problems, designing and carrying out experiments, analyzing data, creating models, and making evidence-based arguments. After the past few years, I'm thrilled students' work in science this year is hugely collaborative and hands-on.

—Andrea Yankovich, Earth Science Teacher