Elementary School Programs

 

A Living Laboratory to Enhance
Classroom Learning

Using the farm as an exciting laboratory, we bring classroom subjects to life by inviting school children to observe and participate in activities integral to producing healthy food. All of our school programs are rooted in our natural surroundings to encourage an understanding of the earth's ecological cycles and how we, as organic farmers, work within them. They are all aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the content can be adapted to meet the needs of any elementary grade level. Our ultimate intention is to offer students hands-on experiences to cultivate their appreciation for and understanding of the larger ecological community of which we are all a part.

Program Dates, Times, and Fees
All programs are offered Monday - Friday during the school year. Programs are scheduled between 8:30 a.m. - 4 pm. The Farm can accommodate up to 3 classes per time slot. One hour and fifteen minute programs are $7/person (2 teachers/class free), with a minimum program fee of $70. For teachers who want more in-depth farm studies, we offer the option of presenting two school programs back-to-back. These 2.5 hour programs are $11/person (2 teachers/class free), with a minimum program fee of $110. If you are hoping for a longer farm visit please contact the School Programs Coordinator for more details. School classes are invited to bring a healthy snack or lunch and use our picnic tables - please just let us know so we can plan accordingly!

 

2016/2017 School Program Schedule

 

Click on program name below to jump to curriculum connections and program format description:

 

Honey Bees: In-Class Program!

MA DOE Life Science/Biology Pre-K Standards: 1, 3, 6, & 8

MA DOE Life Science/Biology 3-5 Standards: 3 & 8

Key Concepts: pollination, basic anatomy, life cycle, and social structure of honey bees

 

Close to the Ground: Eating for Your Health
MA DOE Nutrition Standards: 3.1, 3.2, 3.5

Key Concepts: nutrients, fresh foods vs. processed foods, decomposition, wise food choices, healthy living

Soil & Plants: Characteristics of a Living System
MA DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Standards: 1, 3, & 6

MA DOE Life Science/Biology 3-5 Standards: 2, 9 & 11

Key Concepts: decomposition, basic plant anatomy & identification, habitat succession

Forest Biomes
MA DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Standards: 1 & 3

MA DOE Life Science/Biology 3-5 Standards: 1, 3, 9-11

Key Concepts: succession, basic tree anatomy, close & creative observation, connectivity of habitats

Rocks to Soil: How Geology Helps Feed Us
MA DOE Earth Science PreK-2 Standards: 1

MA DOE Earth Science 3-5 Standards: 1, 2, & 4

Key concepts: erosion, weathering, minerals, rocks, organic vs. inorganic material


Bugs on the Farm: So You Thought You Could Live Without Them!
MA DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Standards: 1, 8
MA DOE Life Science/Biology 3-5 Standards: 1, 11

Key Concepts: decomposition, organic pest management, pollinators, pests, decomposers

Maple Sugaring
MA DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Standards: 7

MA DOE Physical Science PreK-2 Standards: 2

MA DOE Physical Science 3-5 Standards: 2 & 3

MA DOE Life Science/Biology 3-5 Standards: 2, 9, & 11

February 25 through March 24, 2017

Plant & Animal Interdependence: Alive Together!
MA DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Standards:1, 3, 7, & 8

MA DOE Earth & Space Science PreK-2 Standards: 4

Key Concepts: interdependence, decomposers, producers, consumers, food web, adaptations, energy

Egg to Chicken: Bird Characteristics
MA DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Standards:1, 3 & 8

Key Concepts: egg development, life cycles, adaptations, birds, incubating eggs

Sheep Shearing & Their Wool: A History of Animals and Fiber
MA DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Standards: 2, 3, & 6

MASS DOE:  K-2 Social Studies: Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago, Community-related topics in history and economics.
May 1-5, 2017

Key Concepts: shearing, adaptations, ruminants, wool, carding, spinning, weaving, fleece


Honey Bees: In-Class Program!

Curriculum Connections:

MASS DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Frameworks:

1. Recognize that animals (including humans) are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air, and water.

3. Recognize that plants and animals have life cycles, and that life cycles vary for different living things.

6. Recognize that people and other animals interact with their environment through their senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.

8. Identify the ways in which an organism's habitat provides for its basic needs.

MASS DOE Life Science/Biology Grades 3-5 Frameworks:

3. Recognize that plants and animals go through predictable life cycles that include birth, growth, development, reproduction, and death.

8. Describe how organisms meet some of their needs in an environment by using behaviors in response to information received from the environment.

 

Program Description:

What's the buzz about honey bees? Aside from making sweet, sweet honey, honey bees are absolutely vital to farming. From apples to almonds, avocados to carrots, cucmbers, blueberries, and more, honey bees bring about 30% of the food on your plate! This interactive in-class program explores the basic anatomy, life cycle, and social structure of honey bees. Students will learn fantastic bee adaptations, are introduced to the concept of metamorphosis, and will come to understand the activities that take place within a bee colony. Students will discuss how and why bees are kept, and what benefit they give, not only to farmers, but to the world at large. Lastly, for older grades, we will discuss stressors that bees face in our current food industry and brainstorm what adjustments could be made to better preserve the health of honey bees.

 

Close to the Ground: Eating for Your Health
Curriculum Connections:
MASS DOE Nutritional Frameworks:
3.1 Identify the key nutrients in food that support healthy body systems and recognize that the amount of food needed changes as the body grows.
3.2 Use the USDA Food Guide Pyramid and its three major concepts of balance, variety, and moderation to plan healthy meals and snacks.
3.5 Identify the connection between food served in the home and regional food production.


Program Description:
Students will rotate through several stations to learn about how nourishing food is grown on our organic farm! This is a seasonally dependent program and the types of activities are subject to change. Students will investigate our compost pile compost, harvest ripe vegetables, meet our farm animals, and learn about what food products they gift us. Each station will focus on how students can use the information they are learning to make wise food choices for both themselves and the environment!

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Soil & Plants: Characteristics of a Living System
Curriculum Connections:
MASS DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Frameworks:
1. Recognize that animals (including humans) and plants are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air and water.
3. Recognize that plants and animals have life cycles, and that life cycles vary for different living things.
6. Recognize that people and other animals interact with the environment through their senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.

MASS DOE Life Science/Biology 3-5 Standards:
2. Identify structures in plants (leaves, roots, flowers, stem, bark, wood) that are responsible for food production, support, water transportation, reproduction, growth, and protection
9.  Recognize plant behaviors response to light, gravity, seasonal changes etc.
11.  Describe how energy derived from the sun is used by plants to produce sugars (photosynthesis) and is transferred within a food chain from producers to consumers to decomposers.


Program Description:
In this program, students will learn about how healthy soil is created through a hands-on investigation of our compost pile. They will be introduced to decomposers, or "FBI agents" and discover how these helpful organisms break down organic material. Then they will explore parts of our deciduous forest to learn about the types of plants that grow in this climate. Lastly, students will tour the types of plants growing on our farm and learn more about the delicate balance between soil and plants, and why we rely on the earth for oxygen, food, and so much more!

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Forest Biomes
Curriculum Connections:
MASS DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Standards:
1. Recognize that animals (including humans) and plants are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air and water.
3. Recognize that plants and animals have life cycles, and that life cycles vary for different living things.

MASS DOE Life Science/Biology 3-5 Standards:
1. Classify plants and animals according to the physical characteristics they share
3. Recognize that plants and animals go through predictable life cycles that include birth, growth, development, reproduction, and death.
9. Recognize plant behaviors response to light, gravity, seasonal changes etc.
10. Give examples of how organisms can cause changes in their environment to ensure survival.  Explain how some of these changes may affect the ecosystem.
11. Describe how energy derived from the sun is used by plants to produce sugars (photosynthesis) and is transferred within a food chain from producers (plants) to consumers to decomposers.


Program Description:
Students will explore the woodlands on the farm to learn more about our Northeast deciduous forest biome. They will learn which features constitute the basement, floor, shrub layer, and all the way up to the canopy of the forest and how the living organisms in each layer interact to create a complex ecosystem. While walking through the forest, students will learn how to "read" a landscape to discern how it has changed over time. Lastly, they will learn how organic farmers use the information observed in local forests to produce food that is healthy for our bodies and good for our environment!

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Rocks to Soil: How Geology Helps Feed Us
Curriculum Connections:
MASS DOE Earth Science PreK-2 Standards:
1. Recognize that water, rocks, soil, and living organisms are found on the earth’s surface.
MASS DOE Earth Science 3-5 Standards:
1. Give a simple explanation of what a mineral is and some examples, e.g., quartz, mica.
2. Identify the physical properties of minerals (hardness, color, luster, cleavage, and streak), and explain how minerals can be tested for these different physical properties.
4. Explain and give examples of the ways in which soil is formed (the weathering of rocks by water and wind and from the decomposition of plant and animal remains).

Program Description:
What do rocks have to do with our health and how do they help us live? Come explore the farm’s compost pile, test how water runs through different soils, and learn about why farmers and environmentalists care so much about dirt! Students will learn how natural forces of the earth create the soil that we need to grow our food and how minerals from soil get into our food. Students will explore the farm for signs of erosion and weathering, as well as discover what we do to reduce the amount of soil depletion to keep our land healthy.

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Bugs on the Farm: So You Thought You Could Live Without Them!
Curriculum Connections:
MASS DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Standards:
1. Recognize that animals (including humans) and plants are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air and water.
8. Identify the ways in which an organism’s habitat provides for its basic needs.

MASS DOE Life Sciene/Biology 3-5 Standards:
1. Classify plants and animals according to the physical characteristics they share.
11. Describe how energy derived from the sun is used by plants to produce sugars (photosynthesis) and is transferred within a food chain from producers (plants) to consumers to decomposers.


Program Description:
Discover all the different roles creepy crawlies play on the farm! Search for munching decomposers, pick pesky pests off if plants, and help the pollinators make our fruit grow! Find out which bugs are helpful to farmers and which are harmful. Through a series of hands on investigations, students will explore the farm’s fields, composting system and greenhouse to see the smallest parts of a working farm.

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Maple Sugaring
Curriculum Connections:
MASS DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Standards:
7. Recognize changes in appearances that plants go through as the seasons change. 
MASS DOE Physical Science PreK-2 Standards:
2. Identify objects and materials as solid, liquid, or gas. Recognize that solids have a definite shape and that liquids and gases take the shape of their container.
MASS DOE 3-5 Physical Science:
2. Compare and contrast solids, liquids, and gases based on the basic properties of each of these states of matter.
3. Describe how water can be changes from one state to another by adding or taking away heat.
MASS DOE Life Science/Biology 3-5 Standards:
2. Identify structures in plants (leaves, roots, flowers, stem, bark, wood) that are responsible for food production, support, water transportation, reproduction, growth, and protection
9. Recognize plant behaviors response to light, gravity, seasonal changes etc.
11. Describe how energy derived from the sun is used by plants to produce sugars (photosynthesis) and is transferred within a food chain from producers to consumers to decomposers.
MASS DOE Physical Science 6 Standards: States of  Matter


Program Description:
February 25 - March 24, 2017. Learn what weather conditions make sap run in maple sugar trees so we can collect it to make syrup. Taste sap right out of a tree and learn to identify which trees we tap here our farm! Students will be introduced to historical practices of sugaring used by Native American tribes and early European settlers, as well as the contemporary practices we use to make delicious sap right here on our farm. End your visit with a stop in our sugar shack and, if we are boiling, you will experience a sweet smelling laboratory where you can explore evaporation, condensation, temperature, and density. Syrup is for sale after your program, ask for our pricing.

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Plant & Animal Interdependence: Alive Together!
Curriculum Connections:
MASS DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Standards:
1. Recognize that animals and plants are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air, and water.
3. Recognize that plants and animals have life cycles, and that life cycles vary for different living things.
7. Recognize changes in appearance that animals and plants go through as the seasons change.
8. Identify the ways in which an organism’s habitat provides for its basic needs (plants require air, water, nutrients, and light; animals require food, water, air, and shelter.)
MASS DOE Earth & Space Science PreK-2 Standards:
 4. Recognize that the sun supplies heat and light to the earth and is necessary for life.


Program Description:
The key word for this program is "interdependence." Students will study the flow of energy starting from the sun and passing through plants, animals, and soil in the wild food web. Then students will explore our farm, meet each of the farm animals to learn more about their adaptations, place of origin, and what food product they gift us. Discover how the sun’s energy connects people, farm animals, creepy crawlies, and how all living things depend on each other for survival!

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Egg to Chicken: Bird Characteristics
This program is offered at the Farm or in Classrooms.
Curriculum Connections:
MASS DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Standards:
1. Recognize that animals and plants are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air, and water.
3. Recognize that plants and animals have life cycles, and that life cycles vary for different living things.
8. Identify the ways in which an organism’s habitat provides for its basic needs.


Program Description:
Meet the chicks, hens and roosters on the farm and discover where they originated from in the wild! Get up close and personal with the chickens to learn about their amazing adaptations and what makes them different from other animals on the farm. Learn how a chicken's maturation process, starting from inside the egg and the important role they play on our farm once they hatch!

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Sheep Shearing & Their Wool: A History of Animals and Fiber
Curriculum Connections:
MASS DOE Life Science/Biology PreK-2 Standards:
2. Differentiate between living and nonliving things. Group both living and nonliving things according to the characteristics that they share.
3. Recognize that plants and animals have life cycles, and that life cycles vary for different living things.
6. Recognize that people and other animals interact with the environment through their senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.
MASS DOE:  K-2 Social Studies: Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago, Community-related topics in history and economics.


Program Description:
May 1-5, 2017. Why do we shear sheep in the spring? How do sheep eat with no front teeth? Learn about the adaptations sheep have developed and watch them have their yearly hair cut. Go inside our education center to learn what makes wool so wonderful for making yarn and fabric, then try your own hand at carding, spinning and weaving the wool from our sheep!

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