The Shipley Magazine

From Seed to Plant: Lessons in Sustainability Start in Shipley’s Pre-K

The Pre-Kindergarten’s “From Seed to Plant” interdisciplinary spring project centered around the questions, “How Do We Take Care of Nature?” and “How Does Nature Take Care of Us?” Ecology lessons in the classroom were complemented with hands-on learning and gardening experiences in the Lower School’s courtyard and newly-installed vegetable beds.

“Our approach in Pre-K combines project-based learning with collaborative and dramatic play. Lessons are filled with active and engaging activities that focus on children’s natural desires to explore, investigate, and make connections with the real world,” explains Pre-K teacher Tina Wattles, who worked closely with fellow faculty members Lauren Weitzel and Monserrat Toledo Díaz on the project. “Seeing the results of Pre-K’s labors was just as inspiring to us as it was to our students! Their efforts and understanding of all they learned reflect Shipley’s mission of fostering compassionate participation within the school community that our youngest students can now confidently take with them into the world.”

The “From Seed to Plant” project is an excellent example of the kind of integrated societal learning that is encouraged through Shipley’s sustainability program. “The concepts of fostering plant life, creating livable habitats for birds and wildlife, creating green spaces in our communities, serving others, and all the topics they touched on are important on their own, but are made so much more so when they are nested inside one another in a project like this one,” reflects Environmental Sustainability Coordinator Tamar Norquist. “The teachers, in their wisdom, understand that learning has the most meaning when it is contextualized in a way that students can relate to. All of the teachers and students in Lower School are lucky beneficiaries of this excellent project.”

Read More from The Shipley Magazine

The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.