Big Thought Crafts New Curriculum to Bring Rare STEM and TEKS-Aligned Outdoor Classroom to Klyde Warren Park
(DALLAS, August 31, 2015) – Big Thought, Dallas’ premier non-profit organization making imagination a part of everyday learning, crafts a one-of-a-kind STEM and TEKS-aligned outdoor curriculum for Klyde Warren Park, the award-winning green space above Woodall Rodgers Freeway.
This comprehensive curriculum, which is fueled by generous support from Exxon Mobil Corporation, boldly steps outside of the traditional classroom. This makes the curriculum part of the connected learning educational movement, which aims to realize a young person’s full potential by allowing them to pursue a personal interest or passion with the support of friends and caring adults. Children are in turn able to link this learning and interest to academic achievement, career success or civic engagement.
The Klyde Warren Park Curriculum is the first in the nation to be aligned with state education standards. Each lesson includes a tiered TEKS component aimed at developing problem solving skills, sense of perception, scope of creativity, and the ability to evaluate and deliver reasoned responses. The multi-layered curriculum brings a breadth of activities for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders to develop their skills in science and technology, math, visual art and design, social studies, English and language arts, as well as physical education.
Among the most compelling aspects of the Klyde Warren Park Curriculum are activities completely unique to the park’s location and features, including a “Fun With Food Trucks” math lesson that encourages children to build and maintain a food budget, while shopping for a healthy and balanced meal from the park’s wide array of food trucks.
The Klyde Warren Park Curriculum is a potent resource for educators in traditional settings as well as homeschool environments. Fifth graders can design a park, complete with sketches that detail balance, creativity and favorite areas. Fourth graders can participate in a scavenger hunt that reveals the intricate relationship between plants and animals. Third graders can discover form and function, dissecting the differences and similarities in birds, bees, agave and yucca.
“The park has quickly become a popular spot for school groups to enjoy lunch and burn off energy during field trips, but Klyde Warren Park also offers many learning opportunities for students, teachers, and families to explore,” said Tara Green, President of Klyde Warren Park. “We are excited to be one of the first parks to provide an educational curriculum, developed in partnership with Big Thought and through the generous support of Exxon Mobil Corporation. Our hope is that by providing free access to TEKS-aligned curriculum, students and teachers will see the park not only as a place to play, but also as a place to learn.”
In addition to the full curriculum, there will be a separate Family Activities handout for parents and caregivers that will be available at the park’s game carts. Every Saturday in September, Klyde Warren Park will highlight a different family-friendly activity from the curriculum, including an “Olympics Relay” and a “Plant Scavenger Hunt.” Activities will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A complete schedule is available at klydewarrenpark.org.
“Big Thought thrives on connecting students across the city to meaningful learning experiences,” says Gigi Antoni, President and CEO of Big Thought. “To apply what is taught in the classroom in an informal setting like Klyde Warren Park – through field trips or with families - helps youth better understand the world around them and deepens their comprehension – this is what this curriculum is designed to do.”
Children learn by exploring, by doing, and by tackling educational challenges with unbridled vigor and curiosity. The STEM and TEKS-aligned Klyde Warren Park Curriculum provides the perfect outlet of opportunities for shaping future leaders. For the full curriculum, please visit klydewarrenpark.org.
About Klyde Warren Park
Klyde Warren Park is a 5.2-acre deck park, bridging Uptown Dallas to Downtown Dallas. The park includes a performance pavilion, restaurant, dog park, children's park, great lawn, shaded walking paths, water features, free Wi-Fi, ping pong and foosball tables, and a reading and games area. The mission of Klyde Warren Park is to provide free daily programs to all visitors. Klyde Warren Park is privately operated and managed by the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information on programming, volunteering or to make a donation to support free daily programs, please visit www.KlydeWarrenPark.org
About Big Thought For more than 25 years, Big Thought has worked to innovate education in Dallas by providing youth with access to creative learning programs to help them imagine possibilities, excel academically and contribute to their community. Driven by its mission to make imagination a part of everyday learning, Big Thought develops campus and community based programs that impact academic achievement and address youth development by connecting classroom objectives and traditional teaching methods with arts, culture and creative learning. Through its partnerships, Big Thought serves more than 100,000 Dallas children, families and teachers each year, both in and out of the classroom. Learn more at http://www.bigthought.org/