Whole Foods Field Trip

The children have been working on projects that are focusing on the Fall season, Fall crops, cooking, composting, fibers and dye.  Our philosophy believes that field trips should be an integral way of teaching.  We contacted Whole Foods to inform them of our current project, and we were excited to have them make an exception for our school, and allow us to visit for a field trip.  This field trip would allow for the children to have a direct interaction with what they are learning, and learn through direct experience.

When we arrived, we were greeted by Andrea and Richard.  We spent some time observing the water fountain in the front of the store, and found out that it is actually rain water.  Andrea explained that the top of the store is shaped like a leaf, and when it rains, the water is collected and it falls down a gutter into the water fountain.  The store then uses the water to water the plants around the store.

The children have been studying about how rain water is better for our plants than water from the water hose.  Listening to Andrea speak, seeing the water fountain and how the water travels to the fountain, brought life to the concept of saving rain water for watering our plants at our school.

Next, we walked inside the store to find a variety of pumpkins and gourds.  Richard took time to speak with the children and describe each type of pumpkin.  We learned the names of them, saw which ones we could cook and carve with, and explored the sizes, colors and textures of them.

We even saw a GIANT pumpkin!  It is up for raffle at Whole Foods, we entered in hopes to have it at our fall festival ;0)

We compared sizes of pumpkins, and talked about which ones were better for cooking.

And then, it was time for picking out our own pumpkins.  The children each brought in money to purchase a pumpkin.  They each set off looking at all of the different pumpkins in order to choose the one they would buy.

We put them in the carts…………

And then went to the register to make our purchases.  Each child had the opportunity find out how much their pumpkin cost, and then pay with his/her own money.  This was an experience that they truly enjoyed.

We moved into the produce department to spend time talking about Fall Produce.  We spoke to some of the employees from the produce department to learn about fresh and organic fruits and vegetables.

We spent most of our time in the squash section.  We talked about acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash.  Richard let each of the children handle and observe the produce as well as give us ideas on how to cook with them.

The children were lucky enough to even get a taste of fresh, organic fruit!  We tasted samples as we listened to what it means to have fresh fruit.  We learned that fresh fruit looks nice and doesn’t have any bruises or mushy parts.

The children were allowed to ask about vegetables that they were interested in.  We spent time talking about carrots, broccoli  and beets.

We have been spending time investigating beets.  We have used them to dye fabric, as well as cooked with them.  The children had many questions and comments about the beets due to the fact that they have been incorporating them into their project work.  This was a great opportunity for the children to learn more about this vegetable, and see that there were other varieties of beets.  They were able to have a genuine understanding of what they are studying.

We found the golden beet!  “Golden” seems to be a favorite color in our class right now, so when we heard about the golden beet, we just had to purchase some to bring back to school to try…….

We spent time asking questions and understanding how the fruit and vegetables make it back to the store.  We observed the boxes under the produce to help us see where the fruit came from.

In the end, we met back at the display.  It was a successful trip – The children were inspired to cook with pumpkins, acorn squash, golden beets, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash.  They are now designing a “rain catcher” and investigating what a cistern is.  The children are also having a better understanding of seasons, and how the weather and environment effects crops.

Thanks to Whole Foods in Sugar Land, the lessons the children are learning right now were brought to life!

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