Middle School #1, Phoenix, Arizona
In Phoenix, AZ we do not have the
dramatic seasonal changes that some of the rest of you
enjoy. We went through the seasonal changes with you by
imagining what it must be like! In our square we did notice
some subtle seasonal changes since we plotted our square.
The aquatic plants that were so beautiful are no longer in
bloom, and the bulbs planted by our 8th grade students are
popping up and growing. The class chose the pond area
because they felt it was the most beautiful part of the
school. Our pond area was built by the 8th graders at our
school two years ago.
Our partner school was the Acorn
Hill School in Asheville, NC. We were fascinated with the
comparison of our squares. Although a couple of
thousand miles away, we found that both of our squares had
spiders and beetles living in them. We both had soil and
rocks as part of the landscape. In each of our squares we
enjoyed moss, flowers and grass. We enjoyed hearing about
Acorn Hill's acorns, fungus, lichen, big roots, Jack Pine,
Rhododendron, berries, saplings and the fallen trees.
Our square was so different in our desert location. We have
so much dry soil and rock. Our plants are not lush and green
like those in North Carolina.
After studying the NC square we
decided that NC: had a cooler climate, had more
precipitation, had different types of plants that grow there
which would not survive here (such as the Rhododendron),
enjoyed different animals such as bears, and that the
landscape is very different to look at when you are outside.
Many students decided North Carolina would be a great place
to visit. Thank you for sharing a part of your world with
us. We hope the remainder of your school year will be a very
pleasant and a successful one.
Elementary School, Miami, Florida
This has been an interesting, fun,
challenging project for us. Most of us had not completed
anything this big before. We have studied lots of living and
non-living things in science this year. We also studied
different communities in social studies, so this made us see
things from a different point of view. Using a "bird's
eye view" was different for many of us. We
re-constructed squares from several schools. We were amazed
at how many different environments were on the project!
One group reconstructed a square
from Orchard School in Cleveland, Ohio. They found the
potato bugs interesting since we didn't observe any here.
Another student found that a bush could be over 5'7"
tall from the information given by Miller South School for
the Visual & Performing Arts. He also learned about poke
berry bushes from them. A student in our class moved here
from Missouri, so he was able to tell us more about what
they look like.
Crescent Park in Bethel, Maine had
lightning bugs and we don't. They also have mica, quartz,
and granite. It was interesting to look them up in books to
see what they look like.
At Wolf meadow Elementary in
Concord, North Carolina, they had chestnuts and sap from a
tree, which we didn't.
We learned that some places have
clay for dirt like Harold Wilson Middle in Newark, NJ, and
we just have sand.
We saw ants, but didn't see them
gathering food like Bell Elementary in Tulsa, OK.
We learned that St. Barnabas School
in Bronx, NY has roses along a concrete path. We have a
flower "garden", but all of our plants have to be
able to live in the hot sun. People who have roses here have
to water them every day.
Most of the schools we learned
about had dirt instead of sand, and rocky soil. A few had
We made our squares 25 meters by 25
meters square because of the size. We didn't have paper big
enough to make 50 x 50. Now we all know what a meter is, and
we can remember what it means to draw something to
All the places we studied have a
cooler (brrrrr) climate than us.
We would like to go to ALL the
places we learned about, and hope to some day!