This is our second year participating in Trout in the Classroom, and this year we will expand the field component of the project to a series of three spring hikes with all of our students. These field trips will help students connect the small tank of trout in our classroom to the real-world habitats of brook trout. We will visit a range of freshwater settings throughout the New Haven River watershed. Students will have the opportunity to see first hand the interconnected food webs that impact brook trout.
In his book Mapmaking with Children: Sense-of-Place Education for the Elementary Years, David Sobel implores that elementary children are not ready to learn all of the plights of the natural world. Instead, the most meaningful environmental education we can provide to develop a conservation ethic amongst youth is to help them create a sense of place.
Our field trips will give students meaningful experiences in the ecology of our shared place. The memories of these hikes combined with the specific learning they will undertake in the classroom about trout ecology will help foster responsible citizens of our shared, community waterways.
Many thanks to Otter Creek Audubon!