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A Shared Space: Biodiversity and the Tijuana River Watershed

School: High Tech Middle Chula Vista

City/State: Chula Vista, CA

Grade(s): 7

Format(s): Book

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Science and Technology, Visual Arts

Project Overview

Seventh grade students at High Tech Middle Chula Vista created this book to discover and document the diversity of living organisms seen daily around their school. Students worked with WiLDCOAST’s Coastal Conservation Program Manager to learn about the Tijuana River watershed, and also took a field trip to the Living Coast Discovery Center to learn more about watersheds.

Once students learned about the watershed and the damage being done to it, they began to do some of their own research about animals that are native to California. Each student was assigned a species to research for the book to create the species description. Each species is depicted in chalk pastel drawings of their species in a process that included careful scaling and sketching.

The 160-page book includes a brief illustrated depiction of the process of creating the book, and a description of the Tijuana River Watershed. The individual species descriptions are presented in groups such as amphibians, bird, mammals, plants etc. The book concludes with a glossary and bibliography.

This book is available for purchase at .

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Excellent example of a local field guide with an authentic audience who would purchase and use the book
  • Highlights a format that allows the work of each student to be individually assessed
  • Models authentic scientific research for a real purpose
  • The composition, coloring, shading and detail in all the scientific illustrations give the book a coherent, polished look
  • Includes a description of the process used to create this work

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
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