On November 11, ASIJ’s second grade scientists started a learning journey into plants and pollinators. They began by observing and dissecting a lily flower which, naturally, inspired a flood of curiosity about why flowers need so many different parts. “What could the powdery yellow substance (pollen) on the end of each thin line (stamen) be for?” they asked. “Great question!” we replied.
And so began a deep investigation into pollinators and the critical role they play in food production. Lucky for us there is a local organic farm a mere 600-meter walk from ASIJ’s front gate. The farm’s owner, Shimada-san, is a passionate beekeeper with a wealth of knowledge to share and a gift for making big ideas easy to understand.
Accompanied by their teachers, second grade students made the short walk to Shimada-san’s farm where they observed beehives, watched bees at work, got a close-up look at honeycomb, tasted the honey made from Shimada-san’s bees and frolicked under the vines, which were laden with kiwifruit and countless cicada shells.
The trip was a rewarding learning experience for our second graders as they had a chance to see food being grown, observe what bees do to help the food-growing process and to get first-hand insights into how farms work.