Gill St. Bernard’s preschool and prekindergarten classes visited Home Winds Farm last week as part of their farm unit, where they enjoyed an up-close and personal lesson with Farm Manager Ned Lincoln on the habitats, hereditary traits, and habits of the livestock.
The visit came at the end of the early childhood farm unit and was in preparation for the student's final Biome project—an annual lower school assignment with each grade focusing on a specific biome theme. For the youngest students, this year’s theme is the plants and animals of the Home Winds Farm and Garden, which allows the students to take advantage of the experiential learning available on our 208 acres.
To prepare for the visit, students spent weeks studying the animals, buildings, and machinery found on a farm and the role each part plays. They discussed what they could expect to find and why. The lessons also crossed over into their related arts classes, such as Spanish, where they learned the Spanish names for all the animals.
The preparation paid off, as once the children arrived at the farm, they were brimming with questions for Farmer Ned about the workings of a farm and the lifestyles of the animals he raises Questions ranged from what the animals ate, how they spoke, when they slept, and why only some had horns to how animals in the same species were different sizes, shapes, and colors.
“It was a long walk for preschool but well worth the trip as we've been talking about the GSB farm and the different animals for our Biome study,” said Early Childhood Teacher Wendy Hanks. “We discussed how lucky we were to have a farm at our school so that we can learn about it first-hand from Farmer Ned.”
Conversation on the way back to the Lower School covered many aspects of what the students had experience.
“I liked the chickens,” AJ said. “It’s important to go check on the animals because the farm gives us eggs and honey.”
“It also gives us milk,” Jacqueline added.
“The eggshells from the chickens help the grass,” Theodore explained, “because of compost.”
“Yes, farms help the earth and the grass,” Sienna agreed. “When you put the eggshells in the compost bin, they decompose, and then you feed them to the grass.”
Once they returned to the classroom, the eager learners worked together to create a class book on what they saw on the farm and what their favorite part was. They then recorded those favorites on a graph to see which animal came out on top.
“The visit to the farm is something we look forward to as part of prekindergarten's Farm Unit,” Early Childhood Teacher Michelle Coleman said. “The students work hard to prepare for the visit, and then we spend some time afterwards exploring what we learned. It’s definitely a memorable part of the curriculum.”
Enjoy our photo gallery of the visit below!