Rust-stained boulder in wall at Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, CT. White lines are scuff marks made when stone was being dragged from one place to another. Note they all start from the same source, which happens to be a high point. Note also that the stone shifted its position repeatedly as it was dragged/pushed. Which direction was this? Interesting marks on stones are one "detective" clue that kids really enjoy.
Education is the most important objective of the Stone Wall Initiative.
We offer materials at three basic levels of engagement
ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL
- Classroom Curriculum (grades 3-4 emphasized). In 2005 we completed a two-year project funded by the National Science Foundation to create a teacher-written for public schools, written for grades K-8, but emphasizing grades 3-4. This curriculum is based on Stone Wall Secrets (Kristine and Robert Thorson, Illus by Gustav Moore, Tilburyhouse, 1998).
- This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0331163.
- Associated with this curriculum (though not part of it) are two resources
- Teacher's Reference: This is a one-stop enclopedia of background knowledge linked to the text of Stone Wall Secrets.
- Teacher's Kits containing actual specimens of the stones encountered by its child protagonist, as well as other materials, notably a fictional letter and a photo of the author as a child sitting on a stone wall. These are no longer available for loan. Click here for the text of a Teaching Kit (.doc)
MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL
Ancient Fish. Painting from Stone Wall Secrets by Gus Moore
- Hands-on Investigations (grades 5-9 emphasized) : Stone walls offer practically unlimited opportunities for teachers to be creative with their students, indoors or outdoors. This section, targeted towards the middle school and early high school level (Grades 5-9), provides suggestions on how to use stone walls to teach
ADULT AND HIGH SCHOOL
- Stone Walls in Context (grades 10 and above): Adults and high school students are ready to explore the broader and deeper themes between stone walls and their social, cultural, biological, and physical environment. We suggest use of two books authored by Professor Thorson specifically for the SWI ( Stone By Stone and Exploring Stone Walls ). The former is being used for everything from graduate coursework to community book discussion groups. The latter is being used as a nature guide to help landowners interpret their stone walls, and as a tourist guide. Both books are components to the SWI Lecture Series.