Posts Tagged ‘Partner School’

I Have a Dream

January 14th, 2011

Environmental education is about so much more than just learning about nature. It is about empowering students (and adults) to make conscious decisions about their role in and impact on their environment. Last year, Watkins Elementary School 3rd graders marked storm drains in their community after learning about watersheds and runoff.

This year, those same students, now fourth graders recited Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. They did a fantastic job! Now they are learning the skills needed to do public speaking, and they are gaining a better understanding of social justice, a concept that is intimately connected to environmental justice.

Check out the media coverage they got in the Washington Post and on the local public radio station. Their teachers should be so proud!!

Click here to hear WAMU’s coverage of the speech.

Wiggling Worms

December 20th, 2010

Last week, I had the pleasure of introducing 3rd and 4th graders at Gale-Bailey Elementary School to my pet worms. The lesson was a combination of the “Wiggling Worms” lesson in More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons published by NSTA (my new favorite book of the year, by the way!), our HBF lesson on vermiculture, and my own ideas about how to incorporate an outdoor element into this lesson. First, the students listened to the wonderful Diary of a Worm. Then, students completed a table from MPPSL to think about what they already know about worms and their questions about worms. Next, students went outside to dig for worms (we didn’t find any!!). We had a conversation about how worms native to this area burrow deeper underground as it gets colder to stay warm (adaptations!). Then, I introduced students to some red wigglers I brought from home. They made observations on these worms using a form from MPPSL to guide them. Finally, we talked about what kind of environment these red wigglers would need to survive in their classroom in a worm bin, and what kind of food they would need to feed them. It was tons of fun!! Look for a copy of the lesson plan on this blog.

Digging in the soil – it sure was hard!

Why can’t we find any worms?

We can feel the worms’ bristles!

Using tools for closer observation of our worms

Anne Beers Kindergarteners Learning at HBF

November 19th, 2010

The kindergarteners from Anne Beers Elementary School came to Hard Bargain Farm this week and enjoyed their time learning about nature and farming! Their trip was paid for through our partnership with the school. Back at school, their teacher is taking them outside for lessons to incorporate EE into her curriculum!

The goats love to follow kids in the barnyard!

Flying like birds

Cattail seeds are fascinating!

A view of the Potomac

Cesar Chavez in the News!

November 12th, 2010

I love it when my partner schools get good press. The Washington Post’s local section on Prince George’s County, MD, did a nice article on Cesar Chavez’s garden and a $1000 grant they received from NEEF. See the link on-line. Unfortunately, the article itself has not been posted on-line.

Studying Life Cycles in First Grade

November 5th, 2010

We took the first graders outside and acted out a tree’s life cycle borrowing a PLT activity. Then, students each collected one seed from the ground (we primarily had acorns and sweet gum tree seeds available). Back inside the classroom, we diagrammed a simple tree life cycle, and students created their own diagram using their seed they collected! The kids had a great time, and it was a nice introduction to their new unit!

Cesar Chavez’s Schoolyard Garden

June 13th, 2010

For Earth Day 2010, Cesar Chavez received a new schoolyard garden through an Earth Day Network grant worth $10,000. As a result of AFF and Cesar Chavez’s long-term partnership, I knew that they wanted a school garden. When this Earth Day Network opportunity arose, I jumped on it and recommended Cesar Chavez. We were delighted that they were chosen and the whole community is enjoying the fruits of their labor, literally.

The Ultimate School Garden from Nathasha Lim on Vimeo.