Fieldwork Coordinator Update, May 2015
With only two weeks left of school there is much activity to report! Here are some highlights from two of our classrooms:
The first and second grade students are deep into a food unit, with a focus on food security. They are asking guiding questions such a “Where does food come from? Where do we buy food? What happens when you can’t afford to buy food?” Mike and Nesa have read several books in the classroom concerning hunger and related social services (such as Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan) and led discussions with their students to help them better understand this important and often misunderstood topic. The classes have also toured Whole Foods and Costco, for a “behind-the-scenes” look at the food industry and Nesa’s class has recreated a grocery store in their classroom!
Last week, both classes engaged in service-learning events. Nesa’s class toured Lift Urban Food Pantry and helped handout food to visitors. Mikes class shopped for sandwich ingredients at Whole Foods, make sack lunches, and handed them out to individuals in need through a program at St. Michael’s Church downtown. Both classes reported having very rich, educational experiences- they definitely received as much as they gave (if not more!). Lastly, the first and second graders are making a final visit to Kailash garden to perform some garden work, and they plan to share their garden plot harvest with a local food pantry. Amazing work, first and second grades!
Meanwhile, the fifth and sixth graders have been busy working on a project which partners them with the National College of Natural Medicine. We received a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, pairing the students with artist Nina Montenegro. They are working to create a mural which will decorate the walls around the Galen’s Way Garden on the NCNM campus. The mural consists of 19 separate panels, each one depicting a different medicinal plant. The students will also be planting the actual plants in the Galen’s Way Garden in two large plots that the college has donated to us. The panels will be hung by the end of May and we have scheduled an unveiling celebration for Monday, June 8th at 1pm. We can’t wait to see the final masterpiece! Students have connected this art project to a botany unit in the classroom where they have compared plant cells to their own cheek cells, created cell analogies to learn about the functions of organelles, and have been studying about photosynthesis using an online inquiry lab. Students will be writing poems about their medicinal plants to share at the celebration.
Lots going on- and even more not mentioned here! I will send one more update in June, so stay tuned.