Mrs. Bruno's First Grade Class
Boyle Road Elementary School
Port Jefferson Station, New York
Just A Dream

In our unit about the Earth, the students have been exploring the interdependence between the earth and its inhabitants. Animals, people, plants, and the earth need each other. We have learned about the ways that people, animals, and plants need the Earth through our visit to Benner’s Farm, growing plants, reading books, and discussing the topic. Most recently, we have been thinking about the ways our planet needs us, and the importance of our role to take care of it.
For this project, I read Just A Dream by Chris Van Allsburg aloud to the students to tap into their emotions about the environment. It portrays a boy’s vision of the Earth after years of not taking care of it. After reading the book, we looked back to review illustrations of the polluted Earth in the future, and we discussed possible causes for each image. We then created a semantic web about ways we can prevent this from happening in the future. The students then used Kid Pix to create illustrations showing their hopes for the earth when they are grown up. Along with each illustration, they wrote a letter to the Earth explaining how they would help this happen.
Our next step will be to research different ways to take care of the Earth and exploring each of them in detail. I found this topic to be wonderful, interesting, and relevant to lives of my first graders. We hope you enjoy our work!

New York State Standards English Language Arts
Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen and speak for information and understanding.
Standard 2: Students will read, write, listen and speak for literary response and expression.
Standard 3: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.
Standard 4: Students will read, write, listen and speak for social interaction.
Technology Benchmarks
Standard 4: The student is an effective communicator through a variety of appropriate technologies/media

Susan Silverman & Linda Brandon - Beautiful Spring, Beautiful Earth 2005