Last week, first graders headed out to explore the Crocker Conservancy and deepen their study of insects.

After a quick insect mini-lesson in the Anderson Pavilion as a group, the students split into 4 stations.

The first station offered students the chance to use sweep nets in the grass to gently catch and identify insects. The second station allowed students to observe Roseville Run from the bridge to find and identify aquatic insects (mostly damselflies, but some others as well!). The third station found students perusing really cool insect books to learn new facts. The final station offered students the opportunity to examine insect parts with microscopes and searching the grass with hand lenses to find and study tiny insects.

The Crocker Conservancy

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.

The Crocker Conservancy is a phenomenal asset to campus and allows students to learn in an engaging, real world manner. It gives us a perfect opportunity to bring in experts in the field to share their knowledge and passion for learning about the environment with our students.
~Mrs. Coutts, Lower School Science Teacher and NEAL Coordinator

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. Students have easy access to the outdoors here at Powhatan, 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. The Crocker Conservancy adds a whole new dimension to the scope of the NEAL program, allowing for the 47 acres directly behind the school to become an outdoor laboratory for hands-on experiential learning.

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