Earth Week 2023: Foraging for Food

Published On: April 20th, 2023 | Categories: In The Classroom |

Yesterday’s Earth Week highlights included a special visit from Mr. Clay Morris, a restoration ecologist. He led a group of second graders and sixth graders onto the Crocker Conservancy for a Foraging Walk. During this fascinating experience, students discovered a variety of native and invasive plants along the nature trail that can be eaten by humans. It was a fun and engaging way to introduce students to new foods that might expand their palate. By learning about the different edible plants, students also gained an appreciation for the interconnectedness of nature and the role that plants play in the food web. Scroll to the bottom of this page to see this learning experience in action.

The Crocker Conservancy:

The Crocker Conservancy is made up of the 47-acres located in the back of our campus. There are three main habitats on the Crocker Conservancy, including a wetland habitat, warm season grass and wild flower meadow and hardwood forests. Each unique learning space offers real-world opportunities for students to learn and discover.

NEAL: Nature Enhanced Approach to Learning

At Powhatan School we use an approach called Nature Enhanced Approach to Learning (NEAL). 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.

Teachers create lessons that utilize nature to supplement classroom materials in order to engage the students. Lessons are designed to incorporate nature, regardless of the subject. The cross-curricular opportunities are abundant. It might be a field trip that combines language arts and survival skills taken directly from the novel Hatchet. Or an art and history collaboration that uses wild grasses from the meadow to construct ancient Mashuf boats.

Guest speakers and scientists are hallmarks of the program. They work directly with the children in a real-world setting. Yesterday’s foraging walk is a perfect For example, the ability to learn about foraging for food in a hands-on activity with guest scientist makes for a truly meaningful experience.