At some point during this study, all students should have a field trip to the Lamprey River. Students may take field trips to the river as an introduction to their study of watersheds, as part of their research projects, for journal writing and monitoring, and for artistic response activities. They may go as a class trip and make individual or small group visits.
If the field trip is conducted early in the watershed study, it can be used to generate questions about watersheds in general and the Lamprey in particular (see section A: I). The class can also schedule a trip to the river while research projects are in progress. Each group or individual can design a trip task based on the subject of research. Students can also visit the river on their own to do journal assignments or to work individually on their research projects. Details about organizing the trip, including points along the river to visit, group activities, and conducting the water monitoring activities, are described in Lesson #4 of the elementary portion of the curriculum. While on the trip, the whole group can also do one or more of the creative activities suggested below. Members of the Lamprey River Advisory Committee may be asked to meet the group at suggested stops along the river to co-lead the group's explorations.
To appreciate the Lamprey’s beauty and significance, students should experience the river and its historical sites first hand. But it is equally important to carefully preserve this environment. Students should be cautioned to treat the river and its banks with respect and to follow a "tread lightly" philosophy. They can draw, photograph, and write about their findings but should not collect plants, animals, or historical items, except as individual specimens for the science portion of the curriculum.
Many creative projects are possible in connection with the Lamprey. Artistic responses can be included in journal assignments. Students can do creative response projects on their own or as class or group projects. Creative projects can also be part of the final presentations for research projects.
Artistic projects need clear guidelines and expectations. Tell students you expect them to spend ten to twelve hours (sometimes more) on a project and show them examples of work that clearly took that long. Have students submit a plan for their project and later write a progress report. Art projects should include a written rationale by the artist and an oral presentation. Ask for a 500-word rationale explaining why the student chose a particular medium and describing the creation process, what the piece is about, what was learned, and how the student evaluates the success of the project. The final, written rationale makes the difficult task of evaluating creative work easier. While it is hard to avoid being influenced by imagination and skill, try to focus on effort and thought in grading these projects.
Some of the following projects are best done by individuals; others require a group: