Cohoes City School District


Van Schaick 4th graders ask, "What happened to all the trees?"Students presenting to their peers

November 15, 2016—The landscape behind Van Schaick Grade School looked a lot different when school started in September. Students took notice of the land adjacent to the school, which was once lush with trees, had become a vacant lot with construction vehicles on it.

Mrs. Mokey’s 4th grade enrichment students asked the question, “What happened to all the trees?” and prompted some investigative research. The students visited the construction site and developed questions about the new development and its effect on their community.

They decided to research such things as: How will this affect the population of Cohoes? What about the animals that lived in there? What happened to all the trees? Where and would they be used somewhere? How old were the trees?

The students then invited city employee Melissa Cherbino to visit the classroom to talk about the steps a developer takes to build a new apartment complex. The students’ culminating project was to put their research findings into a Google slides presentation, complete with Google Map images showing before and after pictures of the area, and present to their peers in 4th and 5th grade.