In 2019-2020, Oregon Sea Grant and the authors of the children's book Ellie’s Strand: Exploring the Edge of the Pacific led an educator professional development series focused on scientific observation, nature journaling, stewardship actions, and other hands-on coastal science experiences for students. Following a summer educator workshop held at Beverly Beach State Park on August 8, 2019, participants continued their discussions at three online Community of Practice sessions held throughout the school year. See below to learn more about the teachers' discussions and their students' adventures!
Ellie's Strand: Exploring the Edge of the Pacific
Level: Grade 4-6
From OSU Press -- In this sequel to Ellie’s Log and Ricky’s Atlas, Ellie and Ricky travel to the Oregon coast from their home in the Cascade Mountains to help with a one-day beach cleanup. Hoping to find a prized Japanese glass float, they instead find more important natural treasures and evidence of an ocean that needs its own global-scale cleanup.
Ellie and Ricky are amazed by their discoveries at the edge of the world’s largest ocean. Together, they realize the power of volunteering and grapple with the challenges of ocean conservation. In her journal, Ellie records her observations of their adventures in her own words and pictures.
With charming pen-and-ink drawings and a compelling story, Ellie's Strand makes coastal science exciting for upper elementary school students and is a treasured companion for young beach explorers everywhere.
Classroom sets (30) of Ellie's Strand books are available to Oregon Coast STEM Hub educators for checkout from the STEM Hub resource trailers located along the Oregon Coast. In addition, digital copies are also available to educators in the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. To request access to a digital copy that you can use with your students. please fill out this form.
Welcome and Introductions
Start your own journal
Activity: Observe and record
Ellie's Strand book overview
Resources: Materials and NGSS alignment
Activity: The Beach At Your Feet
Activity: Make it Big
Activity: What's on the Horizon?
Activity: Sand Observation
Field Trip Recommendations
Edge of the Pacific - Community of Practice web sessions
Following the summer workshop, educators were invited to attend Community of Practice Sessions held during the school year. Along with authors Peg Herring and Judy Li, participants took part in guided group discussions, discovered teaching resources, and heard from educators who are incorporating nature journaling and coastal stewardship activities with students.
These web sessions were open to all educators regardless of whether they attended the summer in-person workshop.
November 7, 2019: "Take the Drastic Plastic Challenge"
February 6, 2020: "Get Involved: Student Stewardship"
April 30, 2020: "A Year of Journaling"
Student Experiences: A Year of Activities in Oregon Classrooms
Below, educators describe the activities they implemented after they attended the summer workshop.
Reports from 4th grade teacher Penny McDermott of Sam Case School in Newport:
- list from P. McDermott
In the August 8 educator workshop, we made connections between the book and modeled activities to the seven Crosscutting Concepts in the Next Generation Science Standards.
Ms. McDermott summarizes examples here:
- list from P. McDermott
Reports from 5th grade teacher Laurie Shonkwiler of Bridger Elementary in Portland:
Students record nature observations in their journals.
Ellie's Strand authors Peg Herring and Judy Li
Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State Parks, OSU Press, Surfrider, CoastWatch, SOLVE, Lincoln County School District
This project was supported by a 2019 Oregon Sea Grant Program Development award.