Today is Bird Day!
Today is for the birds! Please watch the video above with Mrs. Coutts, our Lower School Science Teacher, and then look through the google slides resource below to find fun bird-related activities you might like to try with your family. There will be more ideas this week!
Bird Day Activities:
Happy Birthday: John Muir
Today is also John Muir’s birthday. Born on April 21, 1838 in Scotland, Muir was a conservationist who is often referred to as the father of our National Parks. A naturalist and writer, penned more than 300 articles and 10 books about nature. Today we celebrate his efforts to conserve our natural world.
Learn more about John Muir here: https://vault.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/life/muir_biography.aspx
Although Wednesday April 22 is the official Earth Day, Powhatan will offer activities during the week of April 20-24. Some activities will be for several grades, some will be for a specific grade, and some will be incorporated into specific classes like English or math or science.
Earth Day was started by Gaylord Nelson, a U. S. Senator from Wisconsin. Americans had become very concerned about pollution and its impact on human life. The book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson pointed out the damage that pollution was doing to other organisms. On April 22, 1970 twenty million Americans (or about 10% of the population) rallied in support of a safer environment. The momentum of Earth Day led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Today Earth Day is considered the largest secular observance in the world with over a billion people participating.
We will ask Powhatan families to participate this year first and foremost by taking the time to go outside and enjoy the beauty of the natural world. Whether it’s a backyard safari, a walk through the woods, or a float down the river in a kayak, we hope each of you will take time to get out of the house and immerse yourself in the natural world this week, at whatever level feels comfortable to you and your family. We will also ask you to talk as a family about one way that you could help us in our school-wide rally to support the environment. We will be posting ideas large and small all week, with nature themes throughout. We hope you enjoy the chance to step back from the screen and breathe the fresh air with us as we celebrate Earth Week together.
Award Winning Faculty
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.
In December of 2018 Mrs. Coutts, Lower School Science Teacher and NEAL Coordinator, was honored as the Virginia Conservation Education Teacher of the Year Award in Elementary Education.
Mrs. Coutts has a passion for nature study. She connects with her students by designing lessons that capture their interest, motivating them to question and creatively problem solve. Her lessons are hands-on and lab-based or field-based so students feel that they are real scientists while in her class. She invites resource specialists to her classes to speak to students about their work and area of expertise. Her goal is to make learning “real” for her students. Mrs. Coutts was recognized at the LFSWCD Annual Awards banquet on November 8, 2018 at Kernstown Battlefield and at the VASWCD Annual Meeting in Roanoke, Virginia on December 3, 2018.