Handbook of Engaged Learning Projects



HELP Index




Student Pages

  • Prepare the students.
  • Meet the problem.
  • Complete Know/need to know.
  • Develop Problem statement.
  • Develop skills.
  • Giather and share nformation.
  • Generate Solutions.
  • Determine best fit solutions.
  • Present Solutions.
  • Debrief problem.
  • Extend.

Day 1

  • Get invitation from 5th grade to participate.
  • Meet the problem.
  • Present the role of the student as a stream keeper.
  • Develop Know/Need to Know with the 5th grade students.
  • Thinking Log: What do you see as your role in this project? What are your interests and skills.

Day 2

  • First visit to Cress Creek Stream.
  • Get overview.
  • Draw detail of stream on drawing paper.
  • Debrief.
  • Thinking Log: What are some problems that you can see in the stream? Some assets.

Day 3

  • Skill lesson on Stream Monitoring (5th grade gives lesson).
  • Give out charts for macroinvertebrates.
  • Set up tank for minnows and treat water in bass tank.
  • Begin research topics.
  • Thinking Log: What skills would I like to develop?

Day 4

  • Choose a skill lesson or research a topic pertaining to the creek.
  • Record what is learned in Thinking Log.
  • Thinking Log: Record research or skill lesson choice.

Day 5

  • Prepare for the bass arrival.
  • Continue research on topic choice.
  • Thinking Log: Record the day's activity, i.e. research, skill learning or teaching.

Day 6

  • Bass arrive.
  • Make observations of their activities.
  • Take readings for tank maintenance.
  • Begin bass log with pictures and observations.

Day 7

  • Take field trip to stream.
  • Monitor streams by careful observation.
  • Do oxygen test, ammonia, nitrites, pH, and assess physical properties of the stream.
  • Record data on chart at site.
  • Compile data in classroom.
  • Send combined data to Forest Preserve for entry into state data bank.

Day 8

  • Set up schedule of tank testings and bass observation times.
  • Record number of minnows eaten, condition of bass, and condition of water in all tanks.


  • Record observations in bass log.
  • Record any research activity.

Day 9, 10

  • View videotape "The Streamkeeper" Bill Nye.
  • Discuss importance of diversity in a stream.
  • Begin thinking of an area of expertise and an action plan.
  • Thinking Log: Reflect on the Stream Keeper. What are some things about stream monitoring that you found new? What are your ideas for "Take Action?"

Day 13

  • Decide on area of expertise:

Smallmouth bass, chemist, care of tank, technology expert, entomologist, invertebrate expert, stream technician,

  • Thinking Log: Record why you will be an expert in a stream-monitoring project.

Day 14

  • take field trip to Cress Creek Stream.
  • Monitor stream and observations.
  • Collect data carefully.
  • Record data on chart.
  • Record compiled data about Cress Creek on DuPage web page.

Day 15

  • Care for bass, tank, and continue gathering information about topic for "Take Action."
  • Thinking Log: How can I communicate the importance of a clean stream to the community?
  • Revisit Know/Need to know.
  • Continue recording observations in Thinking Log and Bass Log.

Day 16

  • Continue monitoring aquariums and feeding and observing bass.
  • Record observations.
  • Generate topics for action plan.
  • Begin "Take Action" project by choosing one of the generated topics or come up with your own.
  • Decide if you will work with a group or alone.

Day 17

  • Collect data on tank health, bass conditions, and minnow population.
  • Work on project in class.
  • Discuss the question, is my plan an effective communication tool for my audience?

Day 21

  • Release bass to river. We will keep two bass to raise over the winter and release in the spring.
  • Reflect on the fate of the bass in the Thinking Log and in your Bass Log.

Day 22

  • Complete preparations for project.
  • Develop rubric to score projects.

Day 23

  • Final day for project completion.
  • Thinking Log. Have I used my project to tell what I wanted to tell?

Day 24

  • Present projects to class.
  • Make arrangements for presentations to selected audience.
  • Thinking Log: Comment on classmates projects.

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Created: July 23, 1996 Updated December 4, 1999