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May 22
Granton Students Explore their School Forest

teachingByWater.gifBy Gretchen Marshall

Many different grade levels from the Granton School District were able to enjoy a trip into their school forest, thanks to a group of college students who were given an assignment to lead field lessons for these students. There were lots of different activities taking place across multiple grade levels. Kindergarteners made boats out of oranges and floated them down the river. You'll have to ask LEAF staff member Chris Kuntz how she constructed those boats, but the students and teacher Annette Woller had a great time.


Students in 5th grade, 8th grade, and 9-12 grade were able to study the plants and trees found in the forest, aquatic invertebrates, and niches. The LEAF Tree Identification lessons was used to help identify trees. Before students could head into the forest, they had to prove they understood the vocabulary terms by constructing them out of play dough. This is a great way ensure students understand the terminology before heading into the woods and become frustrated with the dichotomous key.


In other lessons, students were able to identify wildflower and plants in the forest. Trillium was still blooming and so were the pretty pink/purple flowers of the wild geranium. Students survey the stream on the property and were able to find and identify many aquatic invertebrates. Also, students studied niches throughout the forest.


The kindergarteners and 5th graders shared a picnic lunch in the woods as part of their district wide PAWS program. It was wonderful to watch this buddy system as the 5th graders were able to help the kindergarteners with their lunch, drinks, and feel comfortable at the forest.


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