Experiential Learning Takes a Hike


Knowledge at Trident Academy is often gained through various experiential learning opportunities, and eight middle school students had the lesson of a life time earlier this semester at the Green River Preserve.

The Green River Preserve celebrates intellectual growth, promotes ecological respect, and challenges visitors to learn together. “Our kids thrived in this setting! They were encouraged to learn and experience everything to the –nth degree,” shares Julia Carter, science teacher at Trident Academy. “The goals and mission of the Green River Preserve dovetail well with the goals at Trident Academy, thus making it a perfect match!”

The lessons learned during the trip both reinforce what has been learned in the classroom and provide an introduction to what will be taught. The experiences were also designed to be cross-curricular, supporting a wide array of subject areas for our students with language-based learning differences such as dyslexia.

According to Rhonda McKenna, the Program Director for The School for Language-Based Learning Differences, “The students have been reading Walk Two Moons in their English classes.” Like the novel, the Green River Preserve explores Native American ancestry. “To support lessons on fractions in their math class, students measured their food waste at each meal,” says Mrs. McKenna. The measurements will be used to support a project in the classroom later this semester.

Students even experienced lessons that will support their coursework in language arts and science. The trip provided many sensory experiences that will expand their descriptive writing – especially in their thank you notes to the Green River Preserve. In science, the students will cover food webs, interactions among species and ecosystems, parts of plants, respect among humans and plants, classification of organisms, and much more.

Ms. Carter happily reports that the trip also reinforced much of what she has covered in her science classes. She says, “The Green River Preserve helped our students form more concrete ideas about the scientific method, making observations in the outside world, learning from your mistakes and building on them, and learning to respect all around you.”


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