The kids started Week 4 by making a list of what contributes to climate disruption---and its environmentally destructive impact. We explored green technologies being engineered to counter these problems or offer safer alternatives. Students designed their own eco-friendly spaces based on this day’s lesson.
Our trip to Battery Park Urban Farm included observing a vegetable garden in lower Manhattan. Particular wonder was expressed at the full-grown asparagus plants, which were two feet tall! The garden’s food is donated to food pantries and schools. We also visited a meditative garden that illustrated how important these special spaces are in urban settings. Back at the school, the kids made an herbal salve tying in with the theme of healing with nature.
Students had a blast when given free rein to draw and paint. But they were shocked to learn just how important dirt is after watching Dirt, the movie. Dirt needs to be nurtured and protected just as much as trees, seeds, and bees do. The kids soil-tested the tree pits outside of the school, as well as the raised beds on the rooftop garden. Percentages of clay, silt, and organic matter were assessed. Then they dug their hands into the worm bin and observed the worms. They learned about the different types (worms are always a big hit) and why they are so critical for healthy soil.
As usual, there was cooking. Each student enjoyed a freshly made salad they made from our rooftop garden and veggies. They improvised the cilantro lime dressing and did it without a recipe. They also made 20 customized icicle pops.
The garden required its usual tendering and terrariums were made. Back in the classroom, the interconnectivity of plants, seeds, bees, and worms was illustrated by watching The Lorax. Students’ hearts sunk when witnessing the unnecessary global environmental destruction. But their spirits were lifted upon discovering they can make a difference. The UDSP is about offering offering hope for young people. Our kids know by taking action they can be part of the solution.