This term has really flown by and the amount of things we have been able to do in primary has had us as busy as bees. Speaking of bees, the early years were able to witness the pollination habits of a blue bee that we occasionally see around campus. It is still not certain which species of blue bee this was or who, the teachers or the students, were more excited about this. More to come in a future post. Early years has been visiting the animals around campus and feeding the fish in and around our aquaponics station and in our duck pond close to Kembali. We have temporarily named the new baby duckling, Duckling. More on this later as well.
The fifth graders have finished a unit called “the Material World” which is based on a photography book of the same name. The book showcases a number of families from various countries around the globe shown with all their possessions out in front of their house. The countries included really give a great contrast into how we value different possessions and just what is most important depending on where one lives. The students then listed their most cherished possessions and drew what a similar picture of their own family might look like. Following this was a look at the book “Hungry Planet” which takes a look at a week or two’s worth of groceries around the world. The same photographer chose this as the focus of another book and we shifter our focus a bit. This book, I felt, also offers a good variety of lifestyles and habits of average families around the world and gave us a chance to take a look at ourselves and our own families and think about how the world views ideas like class and wealth. The fifth graders are now moving into a unit on medicinal plants and will be studying living systems and interconnectivity among species in and around our environment at Green school.
Grade four has finished their final designs for their square-foot gardens and are ready to get building the beds. They are going to see which group can grow the most in the space given some of the knowledge we now have about companion planting and space. Soon the students will be tending these beds and, we hope, taking some of their hard work home with them. As the class moves into a settlers theme, we will look at shelters and how to survive in the wild. With the popularity of the parkour/free running unit last year, we are going to revisit our maps and see if we can get a final plan put together for a future course on campus complete with signage and information about what free running is and how to stay safe when jumping, climbing, rolling and sliding around outside.
Grade one has been studying insects in the class and the rich diversity of life found around our campus has really been brought out by Ibu Pera and Ibu Amanda. Because of their home room teachers, these first graders are more informed about insects than most adults. In green studies, we have done some insect review as well as gone around campus to view butterflies and get to know their behavior as well as what kinds of plants different species prefer. In addition to this, the children have also been planting more in the garden and are taking good care of their second generation of cucumbers.
Grade three is in the middle of a unit on primitive skills and will be building their best bamboo lean-tos so as not to get wet when the rain comes. The object of this weeks activity will be to build the best possible shelter/structure using bamboo, some rope and whatever grasses and leaves the students can arrange on top to keep water from leaking down on them. The unit will also have the students doing a bit of animal tracking and foraging for wild edibles among other fun stuff. Building a bug hotel, which we have just finished, was fun and the students were able to witness a caterpillar transform into its chrysalis (which we hope to see transform into a butterfly next week).
So much more to come in the next few months in primary green studies. Stay tuned