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It's all about the leaves (Sustainability, Nov. 8-12)

Seriously, how could it be anything else this week? We spent our time in the woods in Sustainability, enveloped by a leafy cathedral of golden spicebush, tulip poplar, and maple and the rich reds and russets of white and red oaks that dominate the woods at DGS.

Lower El went on a leaf hunt that culminated in organizing leaves in a variety of ways. Size, shape, colors, or external features like lobes and teeth. We compared shapes with the Montessori leaf type chart and reviewed all the parts of leaves. Do YOU know what a petiole is? 🤔

Upper El are so at home down in the woods. We reviewed safety, especially poison ivy identification at different times of the year. Then they used simple scientific keys to ID three different trees (of leaves of their choosing). I didn't even get to walk them through using the key because they jumped right in and figured it out on their own.

Middle School continued to work on their adopt-a-tree project, as well as tackling some of the farm tasks they came up with last week. In sharing the species of their trees, we began to get an idea of the dominant trees on our property. We will wrap the project up the week after Thanksgiving, but we will keep working on removing English Ivy from trees throughout the winter.

Kindergarteners were once again decked out in costume for Friday Sustainability that followed the "Fallstival". We used the leaves they collected and pressed last week to create "leaf people". Tulip poplar was a very popular (pun intended) leaf for this project. We also studied the shape of maple and white oak leaves. By the time they're in upper el, they won't need keys to know the trees of DGS.

Enjoy this fall color. As a botanist who pays close attention to these things, I can tell you this year we are seeing some of the best fall color on the widest array of species, we've experienced in the past 20 years or so. Look up and breathe deeply! 🍂

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