BY Claudia Pope
Wellfleet Elementary School
It is in the WES mission statement to help children create a “foundation for lifelong learning, responsible citizenship, and the realization of their potential”. Enrichment opportunities and community engagement support this mission. The Farmer in the School program at WES offers all students rich, experiential learning opportunities in the garden. Peace club is offered as an After School Enrichment club by Karen Pagano, and fosters peaceful relationships among the school community while fostering activities that promote a message of peace in the world. Students may benefit from participating in the creation of a “Pollinators of Peace Garden” that combines both the creation of a pollinator garden and learning about issues of peace and social justice. Students will have an opportunity to build empathy through the creation of this school community project while exploring the complex issues involved in environmental justice. This project specifically address the grade 1 science
standards of human activities impacts on earth (5-ESS3-1)
Students will research, design, and build a pollinator garden at the WES entrance that will include stepping stones and signage that the Peace Club participants have made. This will take place during the Farmer in the School classes and during science instruction.
Standard 1: A. Curriculum and Planning Indicator. 4. Well-Structured Lessons and Science standard 5-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity
How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)?
Grade 4 students will receive a pre and post test on the role of pollinator in the environment and the impact that humans have on the earth, as part of the science standards curriculum. This will hopefully demonstrate growth in their understanding in the importance of pollinators to the ecosystem and to our food production systems.
Benefit to the students and the school
A pollinator garden will beautify the front of our school, which now features some trodden grass and a dirt path that students use as a short cut. Gardening is an activity with many benefits to body, mind, and spirit. It creates opportunities for exercise and physical release. Contact with nature has a calming effect on the mind and can help regulate the nervous system while providing tactile stimulus to children who have sensory seeking needs. Gardening gives students a sense of accomplishment and fosters pride as they see the results of their hard work. Students may benefit from participating in the creation of a “Pollinators of Peace Garden” that combines both the creation of a pollinator garden and learning about issues of peace and social justice. Students will have an opportunity to build empathy through the creation of this school community project while exploring the complex issues involved in environmental justice.
Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
In March of 2019, grade 4 and 5 students will research pollinator plants, bushes, and shrubs. All WES students will prepare the garden bed and install plants and stepping stones in April and May, during their Scheduled Farmer in the School classes. Students in the ASEP Peace Club will work on the creation of stepping stones and a sign promoting Pollination of Peace Garden, during the winter of 2019, so that they are available for installation in the spring.