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Coastal Heritage Curriculum Connection

Explore Curriculum Connection guides, which are written to accompany each issue of Coastal Heritage, a quarterly publication of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.

Coastal Heritage, Spring 2015 issue: The Wonders of Discovery: Reviving Interest in Natural History

Focus Questions

  • Describe the differences and similarities between how naturalists recorded and identified species in the 1700’s and 1800’s and current methods.
  • What does the term “nature deficit disorder” mean? Who coined this phrase?
  • Who is E.O. Wilson? What contributions did he make to the field of natural history?
  • What is citizen science? Give three examples of citizen science projects stated in the article. What are the advantages and disadvantages for using volunteers to collect scientific data?

Use the Curriculum Connection to address these South Carolina Standards

K.S.1A.1 Ask and answer questions about the natural world using explorations, observations, or structured investigations.

1.L.5B.3 Analyze and interpret data from observations to describe how changes in the environment cause plants to respond in different ways (such as turning leaves toward the Sun, leaves changing color, leaves wilting, or trees shedding leaves).

2.L.5A.3 Construct explanations using observations and measurements of an animal as it grows and changes to describe the stages of development of the animal.

3.S.1A.7 Construct scientific arguments to support claims, explanations, or designs using evidence from observations, data, or informational texts.

4.L.5A.2 Analyze and interpret data from observations and measurements to compare the stages of development of different seed plants.

5.S.1A.8 Obtain and evaluate informational texts, observations, data collected, or discussions to (1) generate and answer questions, (2) understand phenomena, (3) develop models, or (4) support hypotheses, explanations, claims, or designs. Communicate observations and explanations using the conventions and expectations of oral and written language.

6.L.5A.1 Analyze and interpret data from observations to compare how the structures of protists (including euglena, paramecium, and amoeba) and fungi allow them to obtain energy and explore their environment.

8.S.1A.4 Analyze and interpret data from informational texts, observations, measurements, or investigations using a range of methods (such as tabulation, graphing, or statistical analysis) to (1) reveal patterns and construct meaning or (2) support hypotheses, explanations, claims, or designs.

H.B.1A.7 Construct and analyze scientific arguments to support claims, explanations, or designs using evidence and valid reasoning from observations, data, or informational texts.

Lesson Links

Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center (SERTC)
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center (SERTC) located in Charleston, South Carolina houses numerous marine and estuarine species found within southeastern coastal waters. Visit their website: to see the collection of species, request educational posters and other resources, and download educational lesson plans. (3rd – 12th)

Nature Journaling
Part of connecting science and art is through observing your environment. Have your students make daily observations about the environment around them, writing descriptions using their five-senses and capturing their observations through sketches. Have students come up with a question about their observations and develop a science investigation to explore. Create your own nature journal by visiting this site: to choose from a variety of downloadable and printable formats. Purchase your own journal or sketchbook by visiting . (K-12th)

Outdoor Opportunities

Discover Carolina
You don’t have to travel very far to engage your students in natural and cultural history! Bring your students to one of South Carolina’s state parks and engage them in the Discover Carolina programs that are designed to teach about the natural history of the region. Each program is aligned with state standards and is led by park interpretive staff. To learn more and/or to schedule a program, visit . (1st – 8th)

Join the worldwide community where you can “explore, learn, and record” the world around you! Sign up today at and start documenting the flora and fauna around your home or school. As an educational extension, students can combine nature journaling with the items that they are recording using iNaturalist, graph the results and compare data with other schools in the region or state, and create informational posters based on what is learned and observed. (3rd – 12th).

Geocaching in South Carolina
Combine a sense of adventure and exploration of our natural world by geocaching throughout our state park system! Visit the link: to learn about how to become involved in geocaching at a state park near you. (5th – 12th)

Master Naturalist and Junior Master Naturalist
The South Carolina Master Naturalist Program is a “statewide corps of volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities”. Participants who become Master Naturalists are well-versed in a region’s ecology, flora, fauna, and overall landscape and then extend the information to volunteering in their area. To learn more, visit or to learn about a Master Naturalist program near you. (12th – adult)

Youth can also become Junior Master Naturalists! The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission will be hosting a “Junior Master Naturalist Sampler” this summer for those who might be interested in applying for the full Junior Master Naturalist program later this year. To apply for this program, please visit: . (3rd – 8th)

Citizen Science

Beach Sweep/River Sweep
Be part of the largest state-wide clean-up in South Carolina! Beach Sweep/River Sweep is an annual cleanup co-coordinated by the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. The date for the 2015 event is Saturday, September 19th and more information will be posted on the website: Participants will not only help their environment by collecting trash, but will provide valuable data on how much and what type of debris is being collected. (K-adult)

Marine Debris Trackers/Smart Phone App
The University of Georgia has a marine debris tracker app: that provides a way to report marine debris and assess the quantity and type found. In addition, the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium has an abandoned vessel/large marine debris smartphone app found at: . (5th – 12th)