Discovering the Power of Nature and Community


Gribbin Elementary School kindergarten teachers Genene Coppola and Irena Kamola recently took their students on a field trip to the Discovery Cove learning center at Deasy Elementary School. With the help of the Cove’s different learning stations, the young students incorporated literacy, writing, social studies, math and science into an exercise, centered on Pat Hutchins’ book The Wind Blew.

The Wind Blew is an age appropriate, spirited tale of how a small town is impacted by the power of weather. Mr. White's umbrella, Priscilla's balloon, the twins' scarves, and even the wig on the judge's head are all blown away by the mighty wind. Discovery Cove helped to illustrate the major theme of the book to the children: how the forces of nature can impact people’s everyday lives. By blowing through straws they demonstrated how wind can move objects, observing velocity and recording their findings (pictured). They also had fun using Legos to recreate a model of the small town that is featured in the book. Using the Block Center, they learned how to design buildings that can withstand strong winds. By role playing and dressing in costume in the Performance Theater, they learned the importance of community helpers such as policemen and doctors. The Treehouse served as the setting for further discussion and storytelling.

Discovery Cove is also equipped with computers, a SmartBoard and a SmartTable to incorporate technology into the hands-on learning that’s taking place. Unveiled in September, the center combines the latest resources to teach creative, 21st Century skills with traditional tools and methods, in a warm and friendly environment. What was once a large storage space now serves as a bright, colorful learning facility that young students find inviting and stimulating. Classes from all of the district’s elementary schools can schedule time to visit the Cove, as teachers structure projects to take advantage of all it has to offer.