Kindergartners through 4th graders from Blakely Elementary enjoy a walk through a portion of IslandWood as they make their way toward a hilltop entrance to Heyday Farm on McDonald Road.
This year, teachers could choose between a “Plant Tract” and “Animal Tract”. Both groups learned how healthy soil is made and how the farmers, animals, weather and many elements come together to make the right mix.
A scavenger hunt helps lay the groundwork for the lesson, and the students get to see up close how a “milkshake” of eggs, whey, and recycled greens is the ideal treat for the pigs.
Older students learn in detail from Heyday farmers the building blocks of healthy soil, by examining it up close and experimenting with the tool used to make seed blocks, then placing seeds into the blocks.
The younger students learn from the scavenger hunt the role that each element of the farm plays in the healthy-soil cycle. Then they have fun taking on different roles and acting out a “pasture play” that is sure to help them remember how a pasture of healthy soil is created on the farm.
Two Blakely teachers chose to follow the “plant track”: Susan Claesson/3nd Grade, and Leslie Minkovich/2nd Grade. Six classes followed the “animal track”: all three kindergarten classes (Erica Hiatt, Jan Colby and Karen Keller); 2nd Graders in Carrie Holloway’s class; and 4th Graders with Victoria Chavez and Sam Cameron.
“My class came and learned about the animals and their contribution to the farm,” says Carrie Holloway. “We did some role play to help cement the learning. It was perfect for 2nd grade!”