Books Magazine

OBSERVING OUR OWN NATURAL HISTORY at Esperanza Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA

By Carolinearnoldtravel @CarolineSArnold

OBSERVING OUR OWN NATURAL HISTORY at Esperanza Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA

The natural habitat garden at Esperanza Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA

On May 30, 12:55 pm three white-tailed swifts were soaring above the palo verde trees. They look like flying cigars with wings.
This careful description was posted by a student at Esperanza Elementary School in Los Angeles on the school bulletin board “Observing Our Own Natural History” after discovering the birds near the school. Every day, as the students spend time in the school's native plant garden, they are learning to be young scientists and how to look at things closely and observe pertinent details.

OBSERVING OUR OWN NATURAL HISTORY at Esperanza Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA

Students share information and observations on a bulletin board in the school hallway

A corner of the playground where a building once stood has been turned into a natural habitat–a garden filled with California native plants such as poppies, wild grasses, lupins, sage and more. It is home to birds, butterflies, spiders and a wide variety of insects. The school is in a neighborhood located very close to downtown Los Angeles. The garden provides a refreshing oasis in an otherwise totally urban environment.

OBSERVING OUR OWN NATURAL HISTORY at Esperanza Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA

A wild grape vine climbs over the garden fence. Skyscrapers loom in the background not far from the school.

When I visited Esperanza last week, a group of third graders working with teacher Elizabeth Williams gave me a tour of the garden. They excitedly pointed out the frothy spittlebug deposits on some of the plants, several spiders, lupins both in bloom and developing seed pods, and a pair of sparrows foraging for seeds–the male with his handsome black markings and the female a duller brown. Then they discovered a pair of house finches carrying nesting material to a nest site. Principal Brad Rumble, who has spearheaded the garden project, met us in the garden. He is an avid birdwatcher and his enthusiasm is contagious. He introduced me to a girl who had observed and identified a white-throated swift and then was excited to find it again in exhibits at the Natural History Museum when the class went on a field trip.

OBSERVING OUR OWN NATURAL HISTORY at Esperanza Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA

Teacher Elizabeth Williams and Principal Brad Rumble with students

Before we visited the garden, I talked with a group of third grade students in the library and shared the books in my Caroline Arnold’s Habitats series. They had great comments and questions! I plan to go back in the fall when school starts again to do an author visit with more of the students. I love it when kids get excited about the animals that I write about in my books, but I find it even more exciting to see kids learning about nature hands-on--by observing it themselves. The natural habitat garden at Esperanza is a great resource and a wonderful stimulus for learning.
For an excellent video about the Esperanza school garden produced by television station KCET for their Earth Focus series, click on this link: https://www.kcet.org/shows/earth-focus/urban-habitat-esperanza-elementary-school 

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Congratulations Kris Barclay, Emerging Artist Showcase at Boots & Hearts 2018

    The 2018 Boots Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase, presented by Chevrolet Canada took over the Front Porch Stage to kick off the four-day country music festival... Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Phjoshua
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Friday Q&A: Sesamoiditis and Yoga

    Friday Q&A: Sesamoiditis Yoga

    Q: I've been recently diagnosed with sesamoiditis. My normal dynamic sequence of standing poses and sun salutations is awkward and/or painful so I've mainly... Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Ninazolotow
    FITNESS, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING
  • The Mourning Hills (2014)

    Mourning Hills (2014)

    Director: R Todd Campbell Writer: R Todd Campbell (Screenplay) Starring: Chelsea Bryan, Carol Jean Wells, Joe Fredo, Eric Gebhardt, Isabella Handley, David... Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Newguy
    CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Video: Racing Across South America on a Bike

    A couple of days back I shared videos of a bikepacking journey across South America. (Part 1 and Part 2) But for a completely different way to bike across that... Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS
  • FREEBIE: Save on Advair & Other GSK Meds (US)

    FREEBIE: Save Advair Other Meds (US)

    Sign up and receive money-saving offers and tips to help manage your asthma.You may be eligible for a coupon to help reduce the cost of ADVAIR. Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Catherine Mcdiarmid-Watt
    FAMILY, FINANCE, SHOPPING
  • Pink and Blue Babble Boxx: Products for Mama and Baby

    Pink Blue Babble Boxx: Products Mama Baby

    This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com. Anyone else love trying new products?! I love hearing about new things and even more so when they’re things I... Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Thesamanthashow
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Airbus A350-900, Asiana Airlines

    Airbus A350-900, Asiana Airlines

    @ San Francisco, CA June 2018 This Asiana A350 is on final approach to SFO after a long flight from Seoul, Korea. Asiana has been operating the A350 since... Read more

    The 17 August 2018 by   Htam
    PHOTOGRAPHY, SOCIETY

Magazines