“I caught two blue dragonflies! said Lennon, a third year student at Pagosa Peak Open School, explaining the highlight of his recent fieldwork at Southern Roots Farm.
Tenzin, a second grader, responded. “Dragonflies are pollinators,” he said. “They move from flower to flower pollinating along the way.”
This was the next phase of the students’ project, “The Secret Life of Pollinators”. Grades 1 to 3 students at PPOS learned the ins and outs of the importance of pollination through hands-on work on the farm.
After a visit to the greenhouse and field operations, the students shared opinions and questions about perennial and native plants. They then looked for pollinators and examined them under a magnifying glass.
Discussions revealed the fruits of pollinator labor as the students investigated the food that grew around them. Students harvested potatoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes before exploring other parts of the farm and experimenting with farm chores like collecting eggs from the chickens on the farm.
“We took the kids out, where they made their own observations of the plants and pollinators,” Kelle Bruno, PPOS first / second grade teacher and farm owner, said of the trip.
The students are eager to put their knowledge together in a book they will share in October with the Mountain High Garden Club: another group of pollinator enthusiasts and plant growers.
You can find out more about Pagosa Peak Open School on their website.
Emily Murphy is an instructional coach at Pagosa Peak Open School, the first district licensed charter school in Archuleta County, working with students and staff on curriculum, assessment, and instructional strategies. She holds a master’s degree in curriculum and teaching, as well as a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and a certificate in early childhood education.