One significant part of the World Course for nursery students in the Early Learning Center at Avenues is the study of growth and change. Young students learn how they and the world around them are dynamic. An important culminating activity to the growth and change curriculum is the annual field trip to Battery Urban Farm in downtown Manhattan. Battery Urban Farm is an educational farm in Battery Park where students learn from farm educators about sustainable farming techniques and practice planting under the farmers’ guidance.
Discovering the farm’s history.
On our recent visit, farm educators began by leading a short lesson on the farm’s history and its function today, explaining that the food grown on the farm is sent to participating school cafeterias through the Garden to School Café program. Farm educators then taught students real farming techniques. Students learned to make holes in the soil with one finger, spacing the holes appropriately. They dropped seeds into the holes, covered the holes with soil, and then watered the soil. Students also explored other parts of the farm; they smelled lavender and other herbs and took turns holding a worm in the compost area.
Learning real farming techniques.
Exploring the farm.
The children learned about different herbs.
This field trip is an appropriate conclusion to the nursery students’ school year because it’s a hands-on way to offer them a more comprehensive understanding of how growth and change occur in meaningful ways in their city. Seeing how fruits and vegetables are farmed and harvested at a local farm for consumption by local schoolchildren is concrete and relatable to 3- and 4-year-olds.
Practicing sustainable farming techniques.
You can learn more about Battery Urban Farm on its website.