Curriculum Unit Overview

In Critical Conversations about Conservation, students learn about diverse ecosystems in the United States and Africa, including how humans and nonhuman animals meet their wants and needs using Earth’s natural resources. The causes and effects of contemporary environmental issues, such as resource depletion and pollution, in both locations are also examined. Students’ conceptual understanding of cause and effect, sustainability, interdependence, and conservation will be fostered through written reflections, engaging in Socratic dialogue about the issues presented, comparing and contrasting examples, creating flip books and digital posters, among other authentic activities. Students will recognize environmental problems as global issues all humans face, and become empowered to make a difference. The unit’s culminating project engages students in designing art from repurposed trash to support water conservation in a region of their choosing.

Author Biographies

Virginia Campos is a North Carolina Principal Fellow at East Carolina University. As a fourth-grade teacher at Carolina Forest International Elementary, a North Carolina Model Global-Ready School in Jacksonville, she participated in the SACHL project. She has taught in Onslow County for 20 years and in Chatham County for 4. She has taught elementary, middle grades and special education. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Virginia earned her National Board Certification 2006, 2016 and is currently pursuing her MA in school administration.

Tammy Clark is a fourth grade teacher at Carolina Forest International Elementary, a North Carolina Model Global-Ready School in Jacksonville and was a teacher participant in the SACHL project. She has been in Onslow County as an elementary K-5 general Education instructor for 15 years.  Tammy is a native of West Virginia and attended Bluefield State University earning a BS in Elementary Education and a 5-9 general science specialization.   

Charlotte Johnson is a 5th grade math and science teacher at Carolina Forest International Elementary a North Carolina Model Global-Ready School in Jacksonville and was a teacher participant in the SACHL project.  She has been in Onslow County as an elementary K-5 teacher for 15 years and a North Carolina resident for 27 years. Charlotte attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she received a BA in Elementary Education. She currently serves as the school’s Math Counts Coach, Science Fair Site Coordinator, AVID Site Coordinator, and mentor for the Beginning Teacher Program.

Coleen Owens is a fifth grade ELA and Social Studies teacher at Carolina Forest International Elementary a North Carolina Model Global-Ready School in Jacksonville and was a teacher participant in the SACHL project. She has been in Onslow County as an elementary school teacher for three years.  Previously, she taught at Sardis Elementary School in Union County, North Carolina.  Coleen is a native of Staten Island, NY and attended the City University of New York- Hunter College, where she received a Bachelor's in Elementary Education and English Language Arts.