BRING THE ADIRONDACKS INTO YOUR CLASSROOM


ADIRONDACK CHALLENGES

Adirondack Fire Towers: Are They Worth Saving? (part 1) How Can You Become Involved? (part 2)
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Grade: 7 - 12
Class: Art, ELA, Social Studies, Science
Author: Sandra Hildreth
Retired - Madrid-Waddington Central School
NYS Content Area Standard:
The Arts:
Standard 1: Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Arts
NYS Interdisciplinary Standard:
Social Studies:
History of the United States and New York
Adirondack Curriculum Content Area:
Human HistoryNatural History
Performance Indicators:

ART: #1 - Creating Art: Students know and use a variety of sources for developing and conveying ideas, images, themes, symbols, and events in their creation of art

SS: #1 History of U.S. & NY - Students investigate key turning points in New York State and United States history and explain why these events or developments are significant. 

ELA: #1 - Listening, Reading, Speaking & Writing for Information & Understanding - Students compare and synthesize information from different sources; Students use standard English for formal presentation of information, etc.

MST: #4 - Science: Key Idea 7 - Human decisions and activities have a profound impact on the physical and living environment. Students describe the effects of environmental changes on humans and other populations.

Keywords: fire towers, forest preserve history
The Challenge:
Investigative Question or Issue: Part 1: There once were 57 firetowers in the Adirondack region - most are gone - some are being adopted by groups that wish to restore them. Should they be saved? How do they fit in with land use plans? Part 2: As residents, how can we become involved and what can we do to help? (Can be adapted for any grade level and topic area)
Context:

May be adapted for any class or grade level. It could be a stand alone project or be linked to others. Would work great if done as an interdisicplinary project involving several teachers and classes.

The Challenge:

 Part 1. Research the fire towers in your area - are any still there? Should they be there? Select a specific one and prepare a product that will communicate how you feel about it's existance. Choose a side. (Suggested products: poster, letter to the editor or government representative, tv announcement, powerpoint presentation, etc.)

  Part 2. If you wish to support the restoration of a specific firetower, work individually or in small groups (3-5) to create a product or performance that could be used for fund-raising and/or be educational for the audience. Donate fund-raising efforts and/or products to appropriate Fire Tower Restoration group or organization.

Resources (to be added later)

Teachers need to set time limits and establish specific requirements. A field trip or visit from someone associated with the tower could be helpful and informative.

Product/Performance Suggestions: 

  • a "book" about the fire tower consisting of historic fact and personal recollections - could also include photos and/or student artwork 
  • a student researched trail guide for the fire tower containing informative historic, scientific or educational material, photos, or artwork 
  • publish a "newsletter" about the fire tower featuring student researched information and/or artwork and photos 
  • design a logo to use on T-shirts or posters to raise public awareness about the fire tower
  • produce fund-raising posters
  • have an art exhibit about the natural and/or human history of the fire tower
  • creat a website about the tower and restoration project
  • a song, play, or musical performance about the fire tower
  • a board game about fire towers
  • other?
Quality Standards:

Fire Tower Product/Performance

 Part 1:

  • Product accurately describes location of selected fire tower
  • DEC land use designation is specified
  • A side is taken on the status of the firetower & the choice is clearly supported & effectively communicated

 Part 2:

  • Based on accurate factual information (teacher provided and/or student research)
  • Useful for fund-raising and/or educational purposes
  • Involves the community
  • Communicates a positive reason for saving/restoring a specific fire tower
  • Completed by the deadline
  • Is useful
Product Quality Checklist
Print This Checklist
Standard/Criteria: Points Possible: Points Awarded:

 Part 1: Based on accurate factual information (teacher provided and/or student research), incuding DEC land use designation

50

 Takes a side that is clearly supported and communciated

50

 Part 2:  Based on accurate factual information (teacher provided and/or student research)

20

Useful for fund-raising and/or educational purposes

20

 Involves the community

20

 Communciates a positive reason for saving/restoring a specific fire tower

20

Completed by the deadline

10

Display of some sort created for the school.

10

This Challenge has not yet received any recommendations.

Sandra Hildreth said:
If you have ever used this challenge in your classroom - please leave a comment. Thanks!