Written by Class 4 Teacher, Melissa McIntyre

In third grade at Susquehanna Waldorf School we are fortunate to partner and participate in farming skills with local farms. The ability to get our hands, feet, faces, and whole bodies actively working with the earth beneath our feet, as a means of sustaining ourselves by cultivating our own food, is perhaps some of the most grounding work we can do as human beings. This is especially true for the third grader who is starting to discover their own independence and their own place in the world.

The developmental phase that third graders experience is called the “nine year change” and practical activities such as planting, harvesting, and animal care provide purposeful work that help the third grader feel part of the world around themAll of these lessons and activities lead to the culminating event of the year, the Third Grade Farm Trip.

The Third Grade Farm Trip is a rite of passage as the class goes away for several days to work on a farm. Third graders visited Pearlstone Center in Maryland for their 21-22 farm trip. For many students it is their first time away from home and the trip provides concrete experiences for them to test their “how to” knowledge and support their healthy, growing independence. Students made cords from Yukka plants, built their own shelters, spent time with animals, planted tomatoes and peppers, and enjoyed campfires. 

Special thanks to Heritage Creek Farm Camp and the Pearlstone Center for providing such wonderful education opportunities for our students!