New Haven is a unique city filled with rich history, diverse people, and varying landscapes. One of its top attractions for many coastal lovers is its location along an estuary, the Long Island Sound. However, over the past two years I have discovered by probing my students with questions about the Long Island Sound, that they know little about this rich natural resource.
By beginning the seventh- or eighth-grade school year with this unit, students can quickly review and elevate their inquiry skills, while applying biological content. This unit also focuses on creating a sense of community and understanding about the local area around New Haven, as the Long Island Sound is right in our backyard.
This unit encourages students to ask questions about the Long Island Sound through the help of a classroom field trip that gives students a chance to explore and inquire about their local community. This curriculum unit can also serve as a springboard for the New Haven Science Fair. Through participation in this event, students can practice proposing questions, evaluating their thinking, and defending their conclusions, as did famous biologists that came before them!
(Developed for General Science, grades 7-8; recommended for General Science, Middle School grades 6-8)