Mystery Park IS….


Now what you’ve wondered about… the mystery park is located on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.


The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Clue 4 National Park Mystery

Our park is in two states.

Our park has the most visitors.

Entrance to our park is free.

Our park was home to Native Americans called Cherokee and European Settlers.

Elk were reintroduced to our park a few years ago.

What is the name of our park?  What two states will you find our park in?

Clue 3- National Parks

  • Turtle-hawaii CYou will not find this in our mystery park.  No ocean or sea turtles although this is in the United States.
  • The park may close parts during the winter because of snow and/or ice on the roads especially at night.
  • The leaves change colors in the autumn.
  • The park has four seasons.
  • World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life and  the beauty of its ancient mountains.
  • From the earliest hepaticas in the late winter to the last asters in the late fall, blooming flowers can be found nearly year-round in the park.
  • Elevations in the park range from approximately 875 feet to 6,643 feet and the topography can drastically affect local weather. Temperatures can vary 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit from mountain base to top, and clear skies lower down do not guarantee equally pleasant weather at higher elevations. Rainfall averages 55 inches per year in the lowlands to 85 inches per year.
  • Nearly 80 historic structures—homes, barns, churches, schools, and mills—are preserved in the park.
  • 1,600 species of flowering plants, including 100 native tree species and over 100 native shrub species.
  • Limited food and lodging inside park.
  •  Protected in the park are some 65 species of mammals, over 200 varieties of birds, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians.
  • Temperatures – average 45-84.
  • July is the average warmest month. Average is around 84 high. The highest recorded temperature was 100°F in 1983. January is the average coolest month. Average is around 45 to 50 F. The lowest recorded temperature was -23°F in 1985.
    • The maximum average precipitation occurs in May.


Although there are lots of trees here this is not one of them.

Giant Redwood

Clue 2- National Parks

group canoe trip

Mystery Park Clue 2-

You can go

  • hiking
  • biking
  • see wildlife
  • picnic
  • see waterfalls
  • camping
  • fishing 
  • taking pictures (photography)
  •  view historic buildings
  • view distance mountains
  • horseback riding

All pictures property of B. Todd and can not be used on other websites.

  • Mountain 2010 007 David's camera july 2012 199 picnictreeboys (1)David's camera july 2012 043home May 036old barnshome May 026

National Parks Mysteries

  • Do you enjoy nature?
  •  Do you like to view wildlife?  
  • Do you like scenery?  
  • Do you like hiking?
  •  Do you like photography?September 2008 051
  •  Do you like adventure?
  •  Do you like relaxation?
  •  Do you like unique places?
  •  Do you like historic sites?
  •  Do you like plants like ferns, wildflowers and mosses?

Then tour our National Parks.   See if you can guess where we are as we learn about new places.

Clue One:  This park in in the United States and it  has white-tailed deer, black bears, salamanders and wildflowers.  If you know another clue please add one but don’t tell everyone yet which park.

Teaching Others About Why Care about Water?

Water collage (2) Second grade students recently did an inquiry project about water.  They want to teach you a few things about conserving water so that everyone has clean water available.  These are their suggestions of what we all should be doing.

  • Take shorter showers.  Turn off the water while you soap up then turn back on to rinse.  Take showers instead of baths.
  • Wash car with a bucket and sponge rather than a hose to save water.
  • Fix toilet leaks.  (You can figure out if you have one by putting food coloring in the tank and if it shows in the bowl then it needs fixed.
  • Turn water off while you brush your teeth.
  • Use water from the washing machine to water garden.
  • Don’t let water run off and down the drain when watering the lawn.  Water the lawn early or late in the day so it doesn’t evaporate.  
  • Clean up after your pet so it doesn’t pollute the water.  Toss into garbage.
  • Plant trees  to shade the water area.
  • Keep animals (like cows, hogs, horses) away from the water so they don’t pollute it.  Let them have a separate place to drink.
  • Wash full loads of clothes.
  •  Wash dishes and then turn on water to rinse.  (if you use dish washer then make sure that you clean food off in trash and use a shorter time to wash.
  • Don’t let chemicals and oil get into the water supply.
  • Use buckets of water to clean instead of hose.
  • Sweep off driveway instead of using hose to wash.
  • Don’t toss trash into water supply/streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, oceans.
  • Water flowers with bucket.
  • Make sure factories don’t dump chemicals and waste into the water.
  • Clean up around water supplies often.
  • Use a small amount of water when possible.
  • Collect  rainwater in buckets, barrel to water gardens, yards and plants.

Remember that the water drop here affects others in other parts of the world so help keep local water clean so others around the world has clean water.  We want to all be able to have fun and enjoy water activities like canoeing, swimming, fishing so keep our water clean and conserve it because it is LIFE FOR ALL LIVING THINGS!

group canoe trip


Can you add to our list?


School’s Out Again!

Snow Falls Softly Throughout the Day

Snow Falls Softly Throughout the Day

IMG_0710Once again we had an early dismissal on Tuesday at 10:30 because of snow coming.  Then on Wednesday and now for Thursday no school.  We are having a very hard time getting our planned projects done.  Our Biome project , our Water project and our National Parks projects are having lots of interruptions with time out of class.  Of course, the kids are excited about the snow.  The weatherman said this is something that happens here every 10-20 years.  We heard that with the Olympics in Russia that they don’t need to wear jackets and yet here in the southern USA we keep getting snow and/or ice and lower temperatures.IMG_0710

IMG_0716 IMG_0713 IMG_0709 IMG_0708 IMG_0698 IMG_0701 IMG_0707 IMG_0695 IMG_0689

Water in Africa

Girls in Africa carry water a long way for school and home.  This is a dam area where they can get some water.  They must carry heavy containers and walk long distances at times.  Mrs Kinjanui remembers doing this while she was in Kenya.  She teaches kindergarten here at Rocky River.

Dam where you can get water

Dam where you can get water

Water Project-

Water Project-


Where we get clean water

Missionaries help build well for clean water.

Missionaries help build well for clean water.

Gathering water

Gathering water

Water of Kenya

Girls Carrying Water in Kenya

Magazine Collaboration

Our blogging buddies from Upper Plenty have returned from their summer holidays.  Right before their summer holidays and our winter break began we received our copy of a collaborative project.  We were so excited to see our answers to the questionnaires included in this publication by Upper Plenty students , Ms. Crowther’s and Ms. Placek.  The teachers had sent us questions to answer by email from the student groups  to our teacher Mrs. Todd who then chose students to complete them from 3rd, 4th and 5th grade.  A lot of collaboration was involved in completing the project around the world.

It was an absolute pleasure to receive a copy of Global UPdate fromMiss Crowther’s Class in Australia and we enjoyed looking at it when we returned.  They had  worked super-hard to meet their deadlines and publish their magazine.  And what a very professional looking end product it is, too!  We were so surprised by the awesome job they did with the publication to represent kids from all around the world.  Some areas they focused on included school yard games, collections, literacy, math, music, teachers, and natural disasters.


Global UpDate magazine cover

The magazine was first introduced to students in Australia  by the teachers at the beginning of Term 4.  The magazine was to focus on similarities and differences of the lives of children from all around the world. After the students  had all chosen a topic, they began their research. The research involved Skyping, blogging, emailing, interviewing and gathering information from books and the internet.  The students spoke with students and teachers from all around the globe – from Japan, Monroe, NC, USA, China, India, Hong Kong, Germany, England and Canada.

The students said the project  of “Writing our magazine has been a fun, rewarding and, at times, challenging task. It has involved a lot of hard work, dedication and enthusiasm to complete the magazine.” They had a launching party on December 18th, 2013 when they celebrated their hard work.   A representative from the Red Cross came to speak with the students and thank them.

They sold the magazine and the money left over from having it published was donated to the Red Cross which helps kids around the world.  We were happy to have had a part in this collaborative project and helping others at the same time!  We look forward to more projects with students and classes around the world.

Water, Water Everywhere Part 2

This week as we began our water unit we’ve had many friends share how water is used in different parts of the world.  Francis and Rose Muncaster shared information and photographs with us.   Venkat  who runs the school day to day in India helped with the information on the previous post and comment.   These pictures are from projects done in Tamil Nadu, South India through Friends of Mettupalayam.

We want to thank them for sharing their pictures so that we could learn more.  All pictures belong to IRDT (Friends of Mettupalayam Trust)   Pictures may not be used for other purposes.

Water filter India- Francis


 This is the water filter that has been bought for the schoolchildren so that they can always have clean water to drink.


Indian people eat a lot of rice. In order to grow rice the fields have to be very wet. If the monsoon rain does not arrive the rice cannot be grown.


Rice- India-Francis


The taps in the school. the children use these to wash their hands before meals and also for drinking water which is put into a water filter before drinking.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Children use pond as swimming pool.

India- Swimming pool-Francis

india 2013 francis 536

Water, Water, Everywhere

As we begin our new unit of study in 2nd grade we’d like your help.   If possible can you answer a few questions so that we can compare water usage around the world.

  1. Do you drink tap water in your country/town/city?
  2. Do you clean it by boiling or filtering it?
  3. What ways do you use water in one day?
  4. Is water scarce or abundant where you live?
  5. Is it free?
  6. If not, how expensive is it?
  7. What ways do you have of conserving water?
  8. Where does your water come from?
  9. Do you have water fountains at your school to drink from?
  10. Do people in your country buy bottled water?
  11. Add anything else that might help us answer our compelling questions

Why is water important around the world and what can I do to help  ensure everyone has clean water? How can I make a difference?


Habit Six and Seven


Habit 6 — Synergize

  • Value other’s strengths
  • Learn from them.
  • Get along well with others, even people who are different than me.
  • Work well in groups
  • Seek other’s ideas to solve problems
  • Team work create better solutions
  • Together is Better!


Habit 7 — Sharpen The Saw


  • Eat right
  • Take care of body
  • Exercise
  • Get sleep
  • spend time with family and friends
  • Learn in lots of ways
  • Learn in lots of places not just school
  • Balance Feels Best
  • I find ways to help others that is meaningful


Have you practiced these habits lately?