Herbalist Madeline Mooney visited some of the 3rd graders last week to talk about the wonderful historical, cultural, social and medicinal qualities of herbal teas. The kids helped mix two types of teas made up of peppermint, lemon balm, rose, lavender and chamomile, followed by a mindful tasting experience!
Bell Organic Garden News
1st graders spent time in the Organic Garden last week thinking about habitats – both for humans and animals. They spent time discussing ‘what does “habitat” mean?’ Answers included: a home; a place to sleep; a place where you get food; a place where you are protected; a place you share with your family.
They talked about the many animals that call the garden their habitat: turkeys, groundhogs, raccoons, squirrels, bunnies, butterflies, bees, aphids, worms and spiders. The kids then had the opportunity to create their own animal habitat using recyclable materials. The creative chitter chatter and excitement took over the garden for 45 minutes!
1st Graders put on their scientist caps experimenting with growing pea and green seeds in homemade greenhouses…and without soil in the school’s Organic Garden this last week! Essential questions: Do seeds need soil to grow or can they grow in a wet piece of cotton? Can seeds grow in a plastic bag adhered to a sunny classroom window? Will pea or bean seeds sprout first? Ask your 1st grader how their seeds are doing.
Last week, 2nd grader’s embarked on part 2 of a 4-part lesson outside in the school’s Organic Garden exploring and observing worms and understanding how beneficial they are to our gardens and composting. They studied parts of the body and made observations about their worm. Some observations included:
“Mine moved into a pretzel shape”
“Mine is sticky”
“Mine likes to move a lot”
“Mine has lots of segments”
They finished the class with a mindful movement activity where they silently followed Mrs. Skaane as she wiggled, curved, expanded and contracted around the garden like a worm! The kids were quiet and focused on body movements with big smiles on their faces!
To compliment their studies, the classes are reading the following books: Yucky Worms, The Worm and Diary of a Worm.
Bell school students tried fresh tomato salsa with corn chips last week as part of the Harvest of the Month (HOM) program. Did you ask your child if they liked it? Here are some photos of the kindergarteners trying it and the recipe if you and your kids want to make it at home.
Bell School is pleased to be taking part in the Mass Farm to Schools Harvest of the Month program for our 4th year! The goal of this campaign is to encourage healthy food choices by increasing students’ exposure to seasonal fruits and vegetables while also supporting local farmers. Harvest of the Month promotes a different Massachusetts-grown crop each month in school cafeterias across the state from September through June. In addition to taking the selected recipe “Trading Cards” containing facts and information about the selected fruit or vegetable will be passed out to students. For more information on the Mass Farm to Schools Harvest of the Month program please visit http://www.massfarmtoschool.org/
Since Bell School does not have a cafeteria or permitted kitchen, all food preparation will take place at the High School kitchen by Food Service employees. The HOM Committee will be sourcing and purchasing the featured produce from local farms. This effort is in line with one of the Organic Garden’s missions focusing on nutrition, curriculum and education of seasonal harvests. The HOM Committee is led by Bell parents, Barbara Burke and Sarah Fox, who will be coordinating the distribution of the tastings.
The tasting dates and Harvest of the Month crop for the year are:
- September 27th: Tomatoes
- October 25th: Kale
- November 15th: Apples
- December 20th: Carrots
- January 17th: Pears
- February 14th: Squash
- March 14th: Dairy
- April 11th: Potatoes
- May 16th: Seafood TBD
- June 13th: Strawberries
Parents with any questions or interested in helping with serving the tasting (about an hour commitment) please email parent volunteer Sarah Fox – email@example.com