Teaching the Hudson Valley

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Stories Along the Hudson: Albany Heroes

Unit: Voyage to Albany: A Living History Program

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425

Destination

Albany Heritage Area Visitor's Center

County

Albany

Subject:

Social Studies

Grade:

7th Grade

Summary



Students synthesize information gathered during the trip and previous lessons. They also conduct research using oral histories gathered from modern immigrants in the Albany region. Then they practice analyzing and interpreting information gathered, comparing and contrasting it to information about past inhabitants of Albany. Each activity can be used alone, adapted, or expanded.

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Phillies Bridge Farm Visit

Unit: A Deeper Shade of Green

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316

Destination

Phillies Bridge Farm Project

County

Ulster

Subject:

Physical Education/Health,Social Studies,Technical Education

Grade:

12th Grade

Summary

This is the first site visit in the unit; it can be taught independently or as part of a sequence. At Phillies Bridge Farm, students explore the history and evolution of agricultural practices in the area. They look at technical developments as well as other changes. Next, they examine how changes have affected the nutritional value of produce as well as human health.

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Trains and Bridges

Unit: Life along the Hudson River: Exploring Nature and Culture

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428

Destination

Hyde Park Railroad Station

County

Dutchess

Subject:

Arts,Environmental Education,English/Language Arts,Math,Social Studies,Science

Grade:

1st Grade,2nd Grade

Summary

Students develop a sense of local history and the connections between human activities and the natural world by focusing on the past two hundred years of transportation. They explore local landmarks and engage in hands-on activities in their classrooms. This unit involves field trips, model making, singing, journaling, and sketching or watercoloring.

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Creating an Estuary

Unit: Life along the Hudson River: Exploring Nature and Culture

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317

Destination

N/A

County

Subject:

Environmental Education,Science

Grade:

1st Grade,2nd Grade

Summary

Students learn what happens when salt and fresh water meet, first through a teacher demonstration. Then, through hands-on experimentation, students experience the concept first hand.

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Creating a Fish Mural

Unit: Life along the Hudson River: Exploring Nature and Culture

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310

Destination

N/A

County

Subject:

Arts,Science

Grade:

1st Grade,2nd Grade

Summary

Students create a mural with paper cut-outs representing the anatomy of a fish. They place their fish in an appropriate place on a larger river mural. Students learn fish anatomy and vocabulary.

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Hudson River School of Art

Unit: Life along the Hudson River: Exploring Nature and Culture

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404

Destination

Olana State Historic Site

County

Columbia

Subject:

Arts,English/Language Arts,Social Studies

Grade:

1st Grade,2nd Grade

Summary

Students get a simple introduction to the Hudson River School of Art (HRS), 1825-1870, considered the first coherent school of American painting. HRS artists, such as Frederic Church and Thomas Cole, painted wilderness landscapes of the Hudson River valley and surrounding New England helping to create a uniquely American style. Children learn how a region's history and natural environment can shape art, and conversely, how art can help communicate an artist's philosophy about nature and our place within it.

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Native Peoples of the Hudson Valley

Unit: Life along the Hudson River: Exploring Nature and Culture

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396

Destination

Bowdoin Park

County

Dutchess

Subject:

Arts,Environmental Education,English/Language Arts,Social Studies,Science

Grade:

1st Grade,2nd Grade

Summary

Gives students a glimpse into the lives of the first peoples who made their living on the banks of the Hudson River. Through site-visits, readings, and in-class activities, children are encouraged to formulate an idea of what life was like for children and families living near the Hudson before the first contact with European explorers and settlers.

This unit begins with a field trip to Bowdoin Park, and then picks up back in the classroom for a four week exploration of the life of the Wappinger Indians during the late Woodland period. During these four weeks, children create a wigwam within the classroom, decide on a clan name, and participate in a variety of activities that provide basic needs for their community, such as ceramic pot making, corn grinding, weaving, and making corn husk dolls and instruments.

The unit culminates in an activity that gathers the students' research and discoveries into a Wappinger Indians Fact Book, reproduced as a coloring book for all the children in the class.

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Zebra Mussels, Scientists, & Conservationists

Unit: Life along the Hudson River: Exploring Nature and Culture

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290

Destination

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

County

Dutchess

Subject:

Environmental Education,English/Language Arts,Science

Grade:

1st Grade,2nd Grade

Summary

An educator from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (IES) introduces students to zebra mussels. Students and teacher create two aquatic habitats -- a test tank with zebra mussels in colored river water and a control tank with colored river water only. The hypothesis is that zebra mussel will filter the water making it clearer. Students observe and take turns recording changes in the tank daily.

In an extension experiment students measure zebra mussels and conduct oxygen and pH testing on the tanks to see how zebra mussels affect these levels. This offers students the opportunity to interact directly with scientists and conservationists. Through presentation and experimentation students learn the foundation for scientific study. Most importantly the students learn that they are a part of this process and that their input matters.

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Geology of the Hudson River

Unit: Life along the Hudson River: Exploring Nature and Culture

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358

Destination

Mid-Hudson Childrens Museum

County

Dutchess

Subject:

English/Language Arts,Social Studies,Science

Grade:

1st Grade,2nd Grade,3rd Grade

Summary

Students develop a geological perspective and understanding of the powerful forces of nature. They will explore concepts in the classroom with hands-on activities and also visit the Hudson River to make their own observations. Students get a physical overview of how the Hudson River Valley was formed over thousands of years. Activities are designed to allow children to construct their own understandings. Students gain an appreciation of how glaciers and rivers can change landscapes over time.

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Water

Unit: Life along the Hudson River: Exploring Nature and Culture

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445

Destination

Poughkeepsie Water Treatment Facility

County

Dutchess

Subject:

Environmental Education,English/Language Arts,Math,Social Studies,Science

Grade:

1st Grade,2nd Grade

Summary

Students learned about the water cycle and where their drinking water comes from by visiting the Poughkeepsie Water Treatment Plant*. (Water treatment facilities in many communities welcome visitors.) Students can learn math, science, social studies, and language arts concepts by studying water. Hands-on experiments and documentation through pictures and writing give students the ability to use the scientific method. They read about water in guided reading groups, during read-alouds, and at individual reading times. Writing in journals is also a focus.

These lessons lay the foundation for the ecology of the river lessons that come later in the unit by helping students understand water's properties and forms.

* This lesson is designed for municipalities where drinking water is obtained from the Hudson River, however, most of the information, activities, and resources can be adapted to other drinking water situations.

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Trapps Mountain Hamlet

Unit: Trapps Mountain Hamlet

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260

Destination

Mohonk Preserve

County

Ulster

Subject:

English/Language Arts,Social Studies

Grade:

1st Grade,2nd Grade

Summary


Students get a chance to imagine life in a small mountain community isolated on the Shawangunk Ridge during the late 1800s and the first half of the 1900s. During a visit to the Mohonk Preserve, students do the work of an archeologist piecing together clues of how hard life was for the settlers on the ridge. They also engage in art and music projects, build blocks, cook, and make a map. Together, these experiences help students capture the texture of life on the ridge.

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Hands-on River Ecology

Unit: Life along the Hudson River: Exploring Nature and Culture

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329

Destination

Waryas Park

County

Dutchess

Subject:

Arts,Environmental Education,English/Language Arts,Science

Grade:

1st Grade,2nd Grade

Summary

Students learn more about the importance of estuaries, including our own Hudson River, and are exposed to a variety of hands-on, site-based experiences that broaden their understanding the of the ecology of the Hudson River. These activities build on other trips discussed in this unit.

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Early River Transportation, Henry Hudson, Pirates and Maps

Unit: Life along the Hudson River: Exploring Nature and Culture

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Views:

420

Destination

Hudson River Maritime Museum

County

Ulster

Subject:

Arts,English/Language Arts,Social Studies

Grade:

1st Grade,2nd Grade

Summary

Building on previous trips and lessons, students visit the Hudson River Maritime Museum to learn about the evolution of transportation on the Hudson and how it has affected communities along the river. They expand this study with an exploration of Hudson River pirates. Students learn math, science, social studies, and language arts' concepts. Hands-on work and documentation through pictures and writing help consolidate learning. Students read and write in journals to provides continuity between lessons.

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Assessment Tool for Place-Based Education

Unit: Life along the Hudson River: Exploring Nature and Culture

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305

Destination

N/A

County

Subject:

Arts,Environmental Education,English/Language Arts,Math,Social Studies,Science

Grade:

1st Grade,2nd Grade

Summary

Creating a "Hudson River Museum" allows students to process the concepts and content learned. They developed 12 exhibits to tell a particular part of the story of our work. Our students worked in groups with parent and/or community "mentors" to plan, design, and build these exhibits over a 5-week period. The museum was then opened to our school and parent community. Our students became docents and museum workers, giving tours to over 300 students, parents, and others.

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Getting to Know Our Earthworms

Unit: Earthworms in the Classroom

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Views:

233

Destination

N/A

County

Subject:

Environmental Education,English/Language Arts,Science

Grade:

2nd Grade

Summary



Day 1: Introduce students to night crawlers and create worm bin. Day 2: Students observe and handle earthworms and complete a Science Observation Sheet with drawing and writing.

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