Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Great Lakes and The Great Place

The Alliance for the Great Lakes has just released a K- 8 curriculum kit called "Great Lakes in My World." The curriculum was developed according to the Alliance's philosophy. They hope the curriculum will, among other things, instill a sense of place. Here's what they said about that (boldface is mine):

At the root of a flourishing relationship between a child and the Great Lakes ecosystem is the ability to acknowledge and build upon connections with places. "If you don't know where you are, you don't know who you are," says author Wendell Berry. We encourage students to explore their personal connection to the landscape. Ecosystems evoke feelings. Acknowledging that a place holds meaning, and inquiring about its special characteristics, gives new definition and importance to the word "home."

Through these activities, students ask questions that explore the science, history, beauty and mystery of the Great Lakes watershed. This moves students toward developing a greater sense of place - a connections to the lake through new awareness, reflection and experience. As students build relationships with the ecosystem, they gain a new understanding that can inspire a lifetime of learning and care.

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