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ERIC Number: EJ758223
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
The Shad Story
Burk, Sandy
Science and Children, v43 n7 p42-44 Apr-May 2006
Science trade books can spark real-life involvement in saving a threatened fish. A successful science program at the Westbrook Elementary School, in Bethesda, Maryland, does just that. The program--in which students participate in watershed restoration projects as part of a yearlong study of the local Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River ecosystems--was sparked more than 10 years ago when a motivated fourth-grade teacher and her enthusiastic students read the book "A River Ran Wild." The book's positive message of creating environmental change inspired the group to action, and an enduring science program was born. In 1995, fourth-grade teacher Sandra Geddes joined the Potomac River Shad Restoration Project, eager to provide a field activity and method for her students to help solve an environmental problem that they had identified as part of their study of local ecosystems: the decline of the American shad in the Potomac River. As part of the study, the students read historical accounts of the Potomac River that revealed a river thick with silver fish. Over time dam building, fishing, pollution, and development damaged the river's ecosystem and contributed to the shad's decline. After students read "A River Ran Wild," which describes a community of people helping to restore a river ecosystem, students were eager to get involved in restoring their own Potomac River ecosystem, including bringing back the shad. This article shares highlights from this longstanding program as inspiration to integrate science trade books into the curriculum. (Contains 2 resources.)
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 4
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland