Kindergarten LOVES Crocker Fridays!

Published On: October 14th, 2022 | Categories: In The Classroom |

Worm charming, monkey brain racing, nature hikes, and bonfires. Pawpaw planting, Seed ball spreading, and conquering the whale watch. Every Friday this fall, our lower school students have spent dedicated time on the Crocker Conservancy, growing friendships, learning about connections in nature, and exploring the wild side of campus.

Powhatan has long embraced outdoor learning in an approach we call NEAL, or Nature Enhanced Approach to Learning. We use it to bring our students outside into the natural world and to bring the natural world indoors to our students. Science, creative writing, art, and social studies all lend themselves to robust learning experiences through the use of our natural resources around campus.

Last week, Kindergarten headed out to the Crocker Conservancy on an expedition to find maclura pomifera. Often referred to as hedge apples or osage orange, this strange fruit is found throughout the 47-acre habitat. Watch the video below to enjoy the activity!

Our Crocker Fridays started with the goal of scheduling a minimum of one outdoor class each week for every grade level in our lower school. Our goal wasn’t just fun; many studies have shown that outdoor education and play support children’s emotional, behavioral, and intellectual development. Outdoor learning has been shown to boost development of empathy, self-confidence, independence, and problem-solving skills.

By setting aside dedicated instructional time each week, we are able to get every Lower School student out to the Crocker Conservancy regularly. Lessons range from team-building activities on our new low-ropes course to wildlife studies, nature journaling, navigating with a compass, and exploring plant life traditionally used by Native Americans.

~Mrs. Coutts, Lower School Science Teacher & NEAL Coordinator


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