This week the Forests prepared and cooked a meal for the Lamoille Community House in Hyde Park. This was the second time the students have provided a meal for people in need. Our first meal was beef stew and homemade bread. This time we prepared some tasty shepard's pie!
The Meadows (2nd and 3rd Grade) Class had the opportunity to visit the Waterbury Seminary art center. They met director and artist Mame McKee and discovered how this art studio is a vital part of the community. Students spent the day exploring the medium of clay and the various hand-building techniques such as pinch, coil and slab. A highlight for the students was trying their hand at throwing a pot on the wheel. The children created clay slab bowls that were inspired by the country they are currently studying. The students will come together to share traditional rice dishes from the countries they are learning about and will eat these dishes from their handmade bowls!
During the Winter months the students in the Rivers K-1 Class has been learning how Animals Adapt for Winter. To learn how squirrels adapt for winter we played, “Red Squirrel, Gray Squirrel” a game in which each child (squirrel) hides acorns (beans) in the “Fall” (3 minutes). If the student was a gray squirrel they were allowed to hide their 12 acorns in 6 or more spots. If the students were a red squirrel they were allowed to hide their acorns in 3 or less spots. After all the acorns were hidden the students came back to a common spot. It then became the first month of winter. Each had 30 seconds to find at least three acorns and bring them back to a central location to survive the first month of winter. If they did not come back with 3 beans they were “squirrel angels” and were able to help other squirrels find acorns. We continued this for a second “month” and a third “month”. At the end of the game we explored the question, “Did more gray squirrels or did more red squirrels survive the winter?” Each time we played more gray squirrels survived the winter, which led us to believe that hiding acorns in more spots help alleviate other animals taking their whole pile of acorns.
All fall Beaver’s cut Aspen, Willow and Alder trees and make a huge food pile underwater. Beavers will do this until the pond becomes completely iced over.
All winter beavers continue to live in their lodge. Their lodge has two underwater entrances that they use all year long. To construct their lodge beavers pile up cut branches, debris and aquatic vegetation and then coat the structure with mud except for the peak which is left open as an air vent. The structure has two levels: one underwater and one above water which they use as a feeding ledge.
Students look for sign of beaver activity down near the river. The students found this fallen tree which was an invitation to climb!