Developing Water Literacy – One 4th Grader at a Time
Kosciusko County 4th graders enjoyed a day of outdoor education on the shores of Winona Lake thanks to a partnership between Grace College, Warsaw Community Schools, and the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams.
Over two days, 82 Grace College education students connected with 600 area schoolchildren through water literacy activities.
Students rotated with their class to three different interactive stations. A messy sand project helps students visualize erosion – the effect moving water has on land. A second station encouraged students to use pipets to simulate how water moves through a watershed from high to low elevations. During the third station, students had an opportunity to learn how to fish. Each student used a pole rigged with a bobber and a worm to practice casting into Winona Lake.
In its 14th year, Lake Adventure Day (LAD) is a day 4th-grade students look forward to at the beginning of every school year. Senior education majors at Grace College also look forward to LAD. These students, led by Dr. Rachael Hoffert, will begin student teaching in the spring – and LAD is an opportunity to put their skills to the test.
“Our seniors are in their methods block right now, so Lake Adventure Day gives them invaluable practice teaching lessons and thinking about how they can perfect it with each new group of students,” said Hoffert. “They just did a phenomenal job. Their practice and their creativity were on full display!”
In Indiana, students in 4th grade begin exploring their state’s history in their classrooms. Lake Adventure Day water literacy activities slot neatly into their curriculum and meet state standards to provide a deeper look at northern Indiana’s natural history.
For some of these students, even though they live right here, this may be the first time they’ve been to the lake.
— Dr. Laurie Owen
“The more fun a teacher can see education as, the better experience students will have,” said Dr. Laurie Owen, professor of education at Grace College. “For some of these students, even though they live right here, this may be the first time they’ve been to the lake, so it’s a great opportunity for them as well.”
Lake Adventure Day is underwritten by the City of Warsaw Stormwater Utility. Special thanks to Winona Lake Limitless Park for the use of their spaces.
Looking at the Bigger Picture
Developing water literacy in young students is key to ensuring that Kosciusko County’s lakes and streams are clean, healthy, safe, and beautiful for generations to come. Learn more about the K-12 education programs available through the Lilly Center below.