Calgary Board of Education

 
Naturalization Project / Le petit jardin botanique

Banff Trail School Naturalization Project (See pictures below)

The Naturalization process started at BT in 2003, when students and teachers were asked how they would like to see their schoolyard enhanced. Staff, students and a dedicated group of parent volunteers spent three years gathering ideas, learning about the process, creating a design and obtaining the funds to build the amphitheatre. The Calgary Zoo Grounds for Change program was an integral part of the mentoring process, and it’s Groundworks program continues to provide resources to teachers as they bring the curriculum to life outdoors.

Among the many benefits of a naturalized schoolyard generally, and to BT specifically, include:

  • Providing students and teachers with an outdoor classroom, complete with living specimens for science, social studies and math, as well as inspiration for music, art and performances
  • Increasing environmental awareness and stewardship
  • Creating shaded places for quiet reflection
  • Giving students a backdrop for creative and imaginative play
  • Providing a habitat for birds, insects and other wildlife
    We have been awarded generous grants from Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds, The City of Calgary’s ForeverGreen Program, and Alliance Pipeline Community Investment. Our own school community has volunteered many hours of labour and donated over $8000 through our “Leaf-a-Legacy” program.

A volunteer parent, who is also a landscape architect (Erin Burroughs), has been a tremendous resource in designing the functional space of the naturalized area. Another school family generously donated their time, expertise and equipment from their landscaping company (Rayment Family of ULS Maintenance & Landscaping) to implement the designs. Phase One, our amphitheatre, was built in the spring of 2006. All classes participated in a naming contest; the winning entry was a Grade 4 class’s suggestion of “Le Cercle Vert” (The Green Circle). It took six days of heavy machinery work and volunteer labour to create the amphitheatre. Over 110 tonnes of rock quarried west of Rocky Mountain House were used to build Le Cercle Vert. Students were involved in planting the shrubs and perennials. Over 20 Trembling Aspens were planted at this time, providing much needed shade. These trees are also one of the best carbon dioxide filtering trees that grow in our region. In conjunction with the naturalization process, EBT is now one of the first Calgary Board of Education schools to have a pesticide-free schoolyard.

Phase Two,“La Route à Banff” (“The Road to Banff” interpretive trail), was installed in the spring/summer of 2007 and represents our unique geographical placement in Canada. The planting areas are a microcosm of the natural regions of Alberta, moving east to west through Prairie Grassland, Aspen Parkland, Boreal Forest and Rocky Mountain. Hardy and native plants from all four natural zones are represented here to the tune of 58 trees, 304 shrubs and 80 perennials!

Exciting future plans include installing a human sundial, representations of early Native and European settlements and further developing the Alpine/Rocky Mountain area.

This evolving project is just another way of showing how Banff Trail is truly “A caring place to grow – un endroit où il fail bon grandir”.

Photos Of Our Naturalization

October 2003: Barren field

 

June 2006: Getting to work on Phase One

June 2006: Newly created amphitheatre

June 2006: An outdoor classroom

June 2007: Conferring over Phase Two

June 2007: The school community pitches in with planting

September 2007: "Banff Trail" comes to life

June 2007: Enjoying the performance area


Banff Trail – Oct. 17, 2007
Maternelle, 4e et 6e année

Maternelle
Une excursion en automne

- Discutez avec les élèves qu’est arrive en automne. Prenez une excursion pour trouver des signes de l’automne. Expliquez la différence entre les arbres et les arbustes et parlez des formes des arbres.
- Finissez l’excursion avec un jeu où les élèves doivent trouver quelque chose:
o Plus petite que ta pouce
o Plus grande que ton pied
o Plus haute que toi
o Une branche plus longue que ton bras
o Plus petite que ta main

Kindergarten
A Walk in Autumn

- Talk about the changes that occur in the fall. Go for a walk and look for signs of fall. Explain the differences between trees and shrubs, and talk about the different shapes of trees.
- Play a game at the end of the walk, in which you ask the students to find:
o Smaller than your thumb
o Bigger than your foot
o Taller than you
o A branch longer than your arm
o A branch smaller than your hand

1er (saisons et les sens)
Carte de couleurs

Dans l’endroit naturel, les élèves vont créer une carte qui représente la distribution des couleurs. Est-ce que la carte va changer durant l’année? Comment?
Je l’appelle Bob et rencontrez un arbre
Dehors, les étudiants choisissent un objet naturel pour décrire et donner un nom. Lorsque les élèves connaissent leur objet, ils le met dans un sac et choisissent une partenaire. Un à la fois, un élève ferme ses yeux et l’autre partenaire va leur guider à un arbre. Avec les yeux encore fermer, l’élève va utiliser ses sens de toucher et d’odorat pour explorer l’arbre. Lorsqu’ils ont fini, le partenaire guide celui avec les yeux fermer à un autre endroit où il peut ouvrir ses yeux et commencer à chercher pour son arbre. A la fin de la classe, chaque élève doit trouver leur objet dans le sac en utilisant seulement leur sens de toucher.

Les sens
Les élèves vont explorer l’endroit naturel en utilisant leur sens. Demandez aux élèves de trouver:
- Une bonne odeur / une mauvaise odeur
- Quelque chose raboteuse
- Quelque chose lisse
- Quelque chose un animal aimerait manger
- Un grand bruit
- Quelque chose qui est plus que deux couleurs
- Quelque chose douce
- Des petits bruits

First Grade (Seasons and the Senses)
Map of Colours

Let the students create a map representing the distribution of colours in the naturalization area. Does the distribution of the colours on the map change throughout the year? How does it change?

I will call it Bob and meet a tree (?)
These activities take place in the naturalization area. To begin, the students each choose a natural object that they can describe and name. Once the students familiarize themselves with their objects, they put them in a bag and choose partners. One student in each group of two closes their eyes while the partners guide them to different trees. The students who have their eyes closed use their senses of touch and smell to explore the tree. When the students are finished exploring, the partners guide the students (who still have their eyes closed) to another location. The students then open their eyes and then look for the tree they examined with their eyes closed.
At the end of the class, the students also try to identify the natural object in the bag only with their sense of touch.

Senses
The students will explore the naturalized area by using their senses. Ask the students to find:
- a pleasant smell/disagreeable smell
- something rough
- something smooth
- something an anumal might like to eat
- a loud noise
- something with more than two colors
- something soft
- soft sounds

2e (Les régularités et les saisons)
Les régularités sur la cour d’école

- Feuille d’activité

Un arbre pour les quatre saisons
Les élèves choisissent un arbre ou arbustes pour étudier durant l’année. Comment est-ce que l’arbre va changer? Discutez les signes de l’automne

Les feuilles de l’automne
- Les élèves vont collectionner, compter, et organiser des feuilles en groupes. Quelles feuilles viennent de quel arbre? Quelles couleurs sont les plus communes?

Grade 2 (Consistent Patterns and the Seasons)
Consistent patterns at school (?)
- Activity sheet

A Tree for the Four Seasons
The students choose trees or shrubs to study throughout the year. How will the tree and shrubs change? Discuss the signs of autumn.
The Autumn Leaves
- The students will collect, count, and classify the leaves into groups. Which l leaves come from which tree? Which colours are more common?

3e (Construire avec divers matériaux)
Modèle de l’endroit naturel

Les élèves désignent une carte de l’endroit naturel et construisent un modèle avec des objets naturels.
Grade 3 (Constructing with Various Materials)
The students design a map of the naturalized area and create a model with natural objects.

4e (La décomposition)
La décomposition des feuilles

- En group, les élèves vont discuter les étapes de la décomposition d’une feuille.
- Dehors, les groupes vont chercher une feuille qui représenter chaque étapes pour créer une bande dessiner qui décrit la décomposition d’une feuille.
Les décomposeurs
- Qu’est-ce ça veut dire biodégradable? Qu’elle sorte d’objets son biodégradable? Choisissez trois objets (une pomme, du carton et du plastic) pour enterrer et étudier leur décomposition. Chaque semaine, retrouvez les objets et décrivez comment les objets décomposent.
- En group, les élèves vont examiner du sol pour trouver et identifier des décomposeurs.

Grade 4 (Decomposition)
- In groups, the students will discuss the different stages of leaf decomposition.
- While outside, the students will look for leaves at different stages of decomposition. The students will create a comics trip describing the decomposition of a leaf.

Decomposers
- What is the meaning of biodegradable? What types of objects are biodegradable?
- Choose three objects (apple, cardboard, plastic) to bury and study their decomposition. Each week, dig up the objects and describe how they have decomposed.
- In groups, students will examine the soil to look for things that cause decomposition.

5e (Les ressources naturelles)
Les arbres

Comment est-ce que les arbres et les insectes dans l’endroit naturel sont importants comme ressources naturelles? Une chasse au trésor dans l’endroit naturel pour trouver l’importance de nos forets.

Grade 5 Natural Resources
Trees

How are the trees and insects important as natural resources? Hold a treasure hunt in naturalized area to discover the importance of our forests.

6e (Preuve et recherche et l’art)
Envahisseur du foret

- Les élèves vont se promener dans l’endroit naturel pour trouver des endroits où il y a des indices d’un envahisseur. Demandez aux étudiants quelle sorte d’envahisseur on pourrait voir dehors (insectes, humains, maladie). Dehors, les indices vont être énumérées. Les élèves doivent trouver la preuve, déterminer qui et quand l’envahisseur était là. Encouragez les étudiants de designer les indices.
Mosaïque de feuilles
- Dehors les élèves vont choisir une paysage pour designer en forme de bloque de couleurs. Lorsqu’ils ont finis de designer le contour de leur paysage, les élèves vont collectionner des feuilles. Dans la classe, les élèves peuvent utiliser les feuilles pour remplir les bloques de couleur.

Grade 6 (Evidence and Research/Art)
Pest and Disease Invasion of Forests

- The students take a walk in the naturalized area and look for regions where there are signs of a pest or disease invasion. Ask the students what type of invading agents they can see in their immediate environment (insects, people, disease). The students should describe the signs of invasion in detail. The students have to find evidence of an invading agent, and then identify the pest or disease as well as the time line of its action. Encourage the students to sketch the evidence of invasion.

Leaf Mosaic
- Outside the students choose a scene to draw in blocks of color. First, the students draw an outline of the scene, and then they collect leaves. In class, the students use leaves to fill in the blocks with color.