Earth Week: Pollinators

Each year we have a different theme for Earth Week, with overarching activities stemming from the theme. This year’s theme is “Pollination.”

 

Cross-Curricular:

Second Graders will complete a Native Pollinator Survey. This cross-curricular study brings together math and science. By exploring three separate areas of campus, students will record their findings on the Crocker Conservancy and then return to the classroom to graph their results in math class.

 

Early Childhood: Buzzing Around

Pre-K students will visit with Mrs. Foltz, an avid beekeeper, to learn about beekeeping. They will get to see inside an empty hive box, identify honey and pollen, and try on beekeeper gear.

Kindergarten will plant native flowering plants to provide nectar and pollen for our bees with the help of second grade.

First graders will build solitary bee houses during science lab.

 

Community Project: Constructing Campus Bee Hives

The larger school community project for the week is building two beehives. Students at multiple grade levels are working together to construct new bee hives for the campus. The large hive boxes are being built by the fifth grade in the Makerspace. Upper School students in both Geometry and Science classes are putting together the hive frames that sit within each hive section and wiring in beeswax foundation that will get our bees started. Third grade will add a coat of primer paint to the hives. Finally, the fourth grade will paint the hives after they’ve been built.

 

Taking care of our Earth:

Third Graders will be dedicating extra time to work on their year-long recycling project during Earth Week.

Fifth graders are visiting Jim Barnett Park for a morning of cleaning up trash.

Seventh graders are visiting Chet Hobert park in Berryville to clean up and recycle.

We will have a special guest speaker on Thursday. Powhatan School welcomes  Ms. Gloria Puffinberger, Solid Waste Manager for Frederick County (Va.), for a presentation on ‘Recycling’ to the entire school community.

 

The Crocker Conservancy & the NEAL Program

Some may have the impression that NEAL is an “add-on” to our science curriculum or an outdoor education unit in our physical education program. Although both are good assumptions, NEAL (Nature Enhanced Approach to Learning) is far more unique and important than a unit or special trip and is one of the many ways that sets a Powhatan education apart from other schools.

NEAL is a lens through which we can teach any or all components of our curriculum. We use it to bring our students outside into the natural world and to bring the natural world indoors to our students. Richard Louv, well-known advocate of connecting children to the outdoors, writes in his book Last Child in the Woods about how many children today suffer from what he terms “nature deficit disorder.” He shares examples of how children are “plugged-in” to electronic devices and out of touch with the natural world.

At Powhatan, students have easy access to the outdoors and are using our campus, including the addition of the Crocker Conservancy, to map trails, read or write nature poems, adopt trees and square meters for observation of changes, record data in journals, run and walk the trails, and raise trout for release in the stream. We are continually using the lens of NEAL as we create, amend, and reflect upon our curriculum in all areas.