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Three Rivers of Yonkers

A Curriculum for 4th and 5th Grades

The “Three Rivers” curriculum was designed and developed in partnership between the Yonkers Public Schools and the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak (CURB).

The Three Rivers of Yonkers curriculum offers six interdisciplinary units of study that align with the New York State Common Core Learning Standards. This curriculum was created by a team of teachers from Yonkers Public Schools with support and guidance from the District’s administration, and staff from the former Beczak Environmental Education Center and the Sarah Lawrence College Center for the Urban River at Beczak.

"Three Rivers" will help stimulate students’ interest in science at an early age and will encourage students to become stewards of the Hudson, Bronx, and Saw Mill Rivers. It is hoped that it will also motivate students to develop life-long habits of environmental citizenship.

Of the six units, three are designed to be taught at the end of grade four and three at the beginning of grade five. Each unit is composed of four lessons connected to one another through an “essential question” that directs the themed investigation of the topic. Each lesson integrates English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies as well as the usage of technology and art. Hands on activities, vocabulary, extensions, assessments, and resources are provided for each lesson.

The objectives are to increase student’s awareness of the three rivers complex ecology, geology and historical significance and to teach critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making skills. Another objective is to encourage these students to share their enthusiasm and knowledge of the rivers with their fellow classmates, families, and local community.

This curriculum has been distributed to all 31 Yonkers elementary schools and is available for download below. Up to 3,575 students will experience the curriculum in their classrooms.

This project was funded in part by Yonkers Raceway through the resolution of an enforcement action against Yonkers Raceway brought by the New York State Attorney General.

Download the Three Rivers of Yonkers Curriculum