Tradition &

Fifth Grade Explores Science in the Classroom Before Trip to New Hampshire


Next week, Waldorf’s fifth grade is heading north to Camp Glen Brook – the school’s 240-acre extension campus. The theme for their trip will be botany and provides the class a chance to discover and learn about a wide variety of plants and trees. But before the students pack their bags and head north, they’ve been busy preparing for the trip by learning important lessons in science and botany in the classroom.

“We’ve been discussing and observing numerous plants and trees around the School’s campus,” remarked Mr. Marc Lepson, the 5th grade class teacher. “And I’ve had the students write compositions about the plants’ different physical characteristics and the process of photosynthesis for their notebooks.”

In class, the students have been exploring the plant kingdom – from fungi to confier – and learning how to characterize plants and understand their growth cycles. “Identifying roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits and their different manifestations depending on climate and soil is just part of the lesson,” said Mr. Lepson. “We’ve also had a loaf of moldy bread in the classroom that’s been growing quite nicely. And in gardening class, Mrs. Davis (the school’s gardening teacher) has been discussing mushrooms and how they aid in the process of decay.”

The students are very excited about taking their classroom lessons and applying them for the upcoming Glen Brook trip. While in New Hampshire, the class will hike Mount Monadnock, a 3,165-foot mountain – a special “rite-of-passage” for generations of Waldorf classes and alumni.

“From the mountain’s base to the summit, floral species diminish with increasingly shallow soil levels,” said Mr. Mark Stehlik, Camp Glen Brook’s program director who will lead the class on their hike. “I’m already looking forward to pointing out the various alpine and sub-alpine plant species like mountain ash, cotton grass, sheep laurel, mountain sandwort and the mountain cranberry!”

Since 1973, the Waldorf School of Garden City has owned and operated Camp Glen Brook – which is situated in southwestern New Hampshire. This beautiful property includes several houses, over 240 acres of farmland and forest, a working farm with animals, large organic gardens, a lake free of motorboats, and miles of trails from which to explore the surrounding mountains and woodlands. On Monday, September 23rd, the class will board a coach bus and enjoy this beautiful setting for five glorious days.

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