Using DSERT Learning Materials in the Classroom

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DSERT conducts training programs for all primary school teachers in Karnataka. Since 2005-06, their adolescent education cell has also been created, with the primary goal of raising awareness among both teachers and teenage children about developing life skills to protect against HIV infections or AIDS disease, avoid risky situations with drug abuse, and practice responsible behavior.

Curriculum Guides

Curriculum Guides provide numerous ways to expand children’s learning through interactions with materials. Many resources encourage teachers to provide opportunities for active exploration through interest centers and specific activities, such as the Let’s Investigate Teacher Guide – this resource recommends an array of learning activities, such as labs and exploration stations, that allow children to pursue their interests freely. It also offers guidance on creating a daily schedule that supports children’s active exploration and free play.

Interactions that Extend Children’s Learning: The Curriculum Guides provide teachers with guidance on how to use teacher-child exchanges to support children’s communication and thinking skills, such as prompts that ask children about similarities and differences between objects or images, prompting discussions around relevant themes (e.g., “How are bears alike? and “Why do you think sharks live in the ocean?). Furthermore, teachers may use these guides to facilitate group discussions about these ideas (e.g., “Why do bears live in this picture?”)!). Finally, teachers can facilitate group discussions around topics that pertain directly to children’s lived experiences (e.g., “How are the bears alike?” and “Why do sharks live in this place?”).

Individualization: The curriculum’s I Belong section offers various ways for children to customize their HighScope experience. Many learning experiences provide specific instructions on how to scaffold for children who require extra support; other experiences offer additional materials or questions to challenge advanced learners. Furthermore, Curriculum Guides may provide some specific instructions for embedding children’s cultures and languages into learning experiences–though this guidance varies between materials.

Though these curriculum guidelines provide helpful information, some gaps must still be filled in order to utilize their value fully. For instance, while these curriculum guides suggest group observations as a method of assessing young children’s progress, no assessment tool for this purpose is provided. Likewise, limited guidance on adapting the curriculum for special needs children or DLLs exists within them. Despite these limitations, however, the Curriculum Guides still serve as an invaluable resource for teachers new to HighScope education, giving teachers a firm basis upon which to build future instruction.

Mojave Explorers Curriculum Guide

Teachers often struggle to incorporate Mojave National Preserve into their lesson plans, even though its desert habitats provide an unparalleled opportunity for studying Earth and life science standards. To address this problem, the Conservancy offers both the Mojave Explorers Wildlife Guide and Curriculum Guide, which introduce students and educators alike to its desert landscape and wild inhabitants.

The Mojave Desert lies between the Great Basin and Sonoran deserts and boasts a rich natural history. Ancient and current waterways carved out bajadas, canyons, and valley bottoms that create unique habitats for plants and animals alike. Hidden riverbeds, massive salt flats, small wetlands, and windswept hills make particular areas, creating unique microclimates that support abundant flora and fauna, including numerous species that exist nowhere else on Earth.

Mojave Explorers Field Guide

The Mojave Desert is an exceptional ecosystem, supporting an impressive variety of plants and animals. Its varied habitat types, geological history, and changing climate provide students with plenty of learning opportunities. The Conservancy offers several strategies teachers can use the Mojave in classroom studies or for outdoor learning experiences.

As part of its effort to support educators, the Conservancy has developed the Mojave Explorers Wildlife Guide as a way for 5th through 7th-grade students to experience all that the Preserve offers in terms of wildlife and landscape diversity. It can be used as a springboard for classroom lessons as well as outdoor exploration opportunities.

A groundbreaking guide, it features animal tracks and signs left by various organisms across the Preserve’s vast wilderness while also detailing how human activities impact them. Additionally, this informational piece explores the unique adaptations that help them survive such harsh conditions while also offering insight into how these activities might influence them.

Teachers often face the daunting task of getting students out into the desert, which can be an uphill struggle, as it requires meeting curriculum standards as well as providing them with all of the gear needed for an overnight and two-day adventure in nature. To address these obstacles, The Conservancy has designed Mojave Explorers, which offers students overnight trips into the desert.

Mojave Explorers is made possible thanks to donations from individuals and organizations like you; please consider making one today to help ensure we continue offering it!

Mojave Explorers also provides students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience of the Mojave and its wildlife through participating in its annual Mojave Desert Discovery Day field trip, open to 6th graders from local communities in October. Educators can gain more information here.

Billy Creech and his team revitalized the East Mojave Heritage Trail (EMHT), spending what must have seemed like endless hours updating it to reflect today. This guidebook serves as a must-have resource for anyone interested in Route 66, railroad communities that once thrived across eastern Mojave or all the incredible natural and geological features found along EMHT.

Desert Research Learning Center

The Desert Research Learning Center (DRLC) offers experiential learning opportunities to students and teachers at its base of operations – NPS Sonoran Desert Network parks. Furthermore, it serves as an ideal venue for high school and college-level research projects regarding natural-resource topics and showcases sustainable practices and native horticulture practices.

The Desert Research & Learning Center (DRLC), situated adjacent to Saguaro National Park’s east district, can be easily accessed by driving to 12661 East Broadway Boulevard in Tucson and visiting from there. Tours may also be scheduled by emailing Jessica McGarey directly.

Midwestern State University manages the Dalquest Desert Research Station (DDRS), an idyllic example of the Northern Chihuahuan Desert found here. The station acts as part of a chain of Chihuahuan Desert stations throughout both America and Mexico and provides observational and manipulative research opportunities to researchers at Midwestern State and beyond.

MSU’s DDRS has had minimal human impact, with most of the land covered with desert vegetation untouched by man. This environment presents unique research opportunities to examine the Chihuahuan Desert geology, biology, ecology, and paleontology.

Scientists at the DRLC are exploring how plants and animals use chemicals to survive harsh environments, with particular attention paid to how desert plants release volatile organic compounds – including trans-caryophyllene found in creosote bush – which may aid healing wounds, soothe burns, or alleviate arthritis pain. Researchers are now testing this compound’s ability to heal wounds as well as ease pain from arthritis symptoms. They’re also studying how oil contained within various species of desert plants influences animal behavior or migration.