ELA Superheroes Podcast Grade Band: 3–5

Place-Based Research, Grant-Writing, and Restoration: Fourth Graders Design and Restore Critical Riparian Habitat

Place-Based Research, Grant-Writing, and Restoration

Place-Based Research, Grant-Writing, and Restoration: 4th Graders Design and Restore Critical Riparian Habitat

Podcast Summary

Greg teaches reading, writing, listening, and speaking to his fourth graders at Union Street Charter School, a public rural elementary school in Humboldt County, California. He simultaneously gets students outside and lets them get their hands dirty. His ongoing local land restoration unit, in partnership with a land trust and a native plant nursery, asks students to research native flora, use database evidence and expert advice to justify and present their choices for the most beneficial and appropriate native plants for the project, write a grant, and then complete the restoration project.

Credits: these podcasts and snapshots were created by CAELI members, Tara Kajtaniak, Cheney Munson, and Peggy Harte. Thank you for all of your work and support on this project!

“It’s a powerful way to tie kids to the land…We are part of this land, and we are expected to care for it.”

Greg Gaeira

Featured ELA Superhero

Greg Gaeira (he/him)

Greg’s passion as an educator is to bring the world, in all of its beauty, variety, and wonder to his students and school community to help them construct a better understanding of it. Greg infuses his teaching with the belief that we are all in this together and constantly looks for constructive ways to connect his students to other people throughout the world. He firmly believes that anyone, young or old, can make contributions to improve this beautiful world we live in.



Teaching Snapshot

Students and community members in Arcata, California, come together to restore riparian habitat.

This teaching snapshot describes the monarch unit discussed in the podcast in greater detail. It illustrates how Greg posed an authentic habitat restoration challenge to foster collaboration and community (UDL Checkpoint 8.3), and to prompt students provide reasons that are supported by facts and details from research (ELA W.4.1.b) to generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural processes such as flooding (NGSS 4-ESS3-2).

Additional Information

Article: “Students, volunteers, pros collaborate on Jacoby Creek restoration” (Gaiera, 2022)

Supporting Materials

2018 Nielsen School Enrichment USC Application Fillable (grant that students helped write)