The aim of the Third Grade curriculum is to teach students how to live in the world, "to connect themselves consciously with their surroundings." Throughout the year the students learn the basics of structure building, fiber and clothing, and growing and cooking their own food. The goal is that with these skills as a foundation, children will feel grounded and capable as they leave behind the dreaminess of youth and their feet meet the earth. Bridget Kelley, our beloved biodynamic farm teacher, has developed this curriculum over several years of working with classes and learning their needs and abilities.
In the garden, the Third Grade students learn to till the soil, distinguish between different kinds of grain, and learn about the relationships between plants, animals, and human beings.
Their work starts in the early summer of their Second Grade year when they help prepare row beds for planting grains. They plant grains like buckwheat and corn, which they harvest when they return to school in the fall. This year the Third Grade grew special corn that they made into brooms for the classroom.
The class also planted wheat, which they will harvest at the end of the school year. Their work will include threshing, winnowing, and grinding the grain into flour. The flour will then be used to make pizzas that will be baked in our outdoor pizza oven!
Cotton and flax are two more crops that the students planted recently. Once grown, the fibers will be processed by the students with Ms. Lewis, their handwork teacher.
They've also been working hard planting fall vegetables like kale, sugar snap peas, garlic, collards, beets, and carrots.
In spring, they will plant tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and basil.
Throughout the school year the class works hard at planting, hoeing, raking, amending, weeding, and mulching. Proper use of tools and appropriate garden etiquette is emphasized in every class. They helped build several large biodynamic compost heaps and led our school composting program by gathering compost from the lower classes each week and incorporating it into the compost piles.