“Power is not brute force and money; power is in your spirit. Power is in your soul. It is what your ancestors, your old people gave you. Power is in the earth; it is in your relationship to the earth.” – Winona LaDuke
Field Trips Provide Us:
- A break in routine.
- Time together in the natural world.
- Expansive space to play and connect, free of the pull to curb children’s natural enthusiasm and need to move.
- Opportunities to deepen connections within our school community.
- Opportunities to learn about farms and forests in Portland.
Each Fall, we take a break from city-life to gather together on farmland, under expansive skies. Sauvie Island provides Portlanders with accessible waterways and farms to explore and enjoy. Harvesting pumpkins is one springboard to nourish children’s connection to the earth.
Our time together on the farm mirrors our classroom time. We have circle, welcoming each child, and emphasize a few current curriculum focuses such as noticing our varying skin tones along with the range of fall leaf colors. Farmer Don made a game out of guessing the names of fruits and veggies; and he husked a corn–dramatically munching on it in front of his captive audience.
We trekked over pumpkin vines to pick out pie-making pumpkins and rode the tractor back to our picnic area. To honor the harvest, we shared snacks with a pumpkin, apple and seed focus. Yum!
Field trips make exciting memories for children, and allow them to form new connections and bonds with each other. It’s also a sweet time for parents, grandparents and siblings to join the fun.
(This child was feeling irritable and didn’t want to be in the family photo I snapped of her parents and big brother. I was pleased to find a way to connect with her by showing her the photo I took).
Pumpkin Play Continues
Following our field trip, I brought about twenty miniature pumpkins back to HFP’s play yard as a reminder of our farm experience and the Fall harvest. We took turns hiding and finding and re-hiding and finding pumpkins. I took this video clip at the very end of an exuberant, collaborative class effort to gather all the hidden pumpkins in the play yard and to bring them to the top of the climber to “decorate” it.
We’ll continue with a variety of pumpkin-related activities and will return to the farm in June to harvest strawberries.