Barrels and Bins & Water and Earth
The township of Hornepayne does not have a composting nor a recycling system, therefore we think it is incredibly important to teach our students about the importance of these actions, not only by telling them, but by them experiencing what composting is all about. The lack of environmentally friendly waste practices in Hornepayne is what inspired our students to take on this project. While learning about the soil science unit, the grade 3 students were so disappointed that our community wasn’t participating in composting, as it is so important for the environment. Once they found out about this incredible project opportunity, they jumped right on board and were so excited to be contributing to mother nature’s well-being.
Rain water barrel:
With this barrel, our intention is to reduce the usage of community water. By collecting rain water, students are being exposed to how much rain water mother nature gives us, and how these levels of water vary from season to season. Furthermore, the students are beginning to understand how useful this water can be to us and to the environment (ie. reducing water consumption and the benefits of rainwater for plants).
For our composting project, we have set up a composting bin with a lid outside in the school yard, in a safe area. Every classroom is equipped with a composting bin, for them to collect their compostable items after snack time and lunch. At the end of each day, the students are responsible, with the help of an adult, for collecting the compost from each classroom and disposing of it in the compost bin outside. The students also help in the various steps of composting, such as mixing, etc. Throughout the project, the students are aware that this compost will be used in our future gardening projects. Throughout the project, the students are learning about the benefits of composting for the environment, such as reducing waste and reusing perfectly good items to benefit our future projects, like using compost to help our future gardens thrive.
Rain water barrel:
For this project, we have purchased a rain water barrel to water our school gardens with. Once the rain water accumulates, the students will be in charge of watering the school garden with this water and they are so excited to do so. By collecting rain water, the students are being exposed to how much rain water mother nature gives us, and how these levels of water vary from season to season. Furthermore, the students are beginning to understand how useful this water can be to us and to the environment. We have been educating the students on the benefits of rainwater for plant growth (ie. no chemicals in the water). While combining the rail water barrel project with students knowledge about plants and gardening, they are beginning to understand the importance of water for plants. The students are so thrilled to have started this project and are so excited to grow their garden using only rain water.
Reflection & Celebration
This project has been extremely beneficial to our student’s learning and knowledge about the environment, all while still relating to the Ontario’s Ministry of Education curriculum requirements. The students have truly been so motivated and engaged in the project and have been sensitized to the fact that they can contribute to mother nature’s well-being with simple every day habits. This project has taught our students valuable environmental practices that will be useful for years to come.
As for a celebration, this project has been a celebration in itself. Our students are genuinely happy to be contributing and being a part of such a wonderful mission to better our planet.