Maria Montessori had a deep respect for the natural world. She believed the outdoor environment was an extension of the indoor classroom as it provides endless opportunities for experiential learning. That’s why at The Montessori School of Raleigh (MSR), students at all grade levels learn from nature every day through access to outdoor spaces as well as natural elements in their indoor spaces – like plants and small animals. In the Middle and Upper Schools, students engage in a land and livestock program that offers even more opportunities for students to access and learn from the natural world around them.
Located on MSR’s 34-acre Brier Creek Campus (BCC), the Land and Livestock program provides real-world experiences that emphasize the interconnectedness between themselves and their environment. Whether working in the organic garden, clearing trails, or cleaning out the chicken coop, students have ample opportunity to explore and study nature.
This spring, the Land and Livestock program welcomed a group of six chicks. Their cheerful presence has allowed students on both school campuses (Lead Mine Campus and BCC) to observe the growth and development of these birds and learn how to care for them. Teachers have incorporated the chicks into math, science, and other lessons – deepening the learning by making the lessons relevant, meaningful, and fun for their students.
While Middle School students complete work on the chicken coop, students on the Lead Mine Campus are joyfully hosting the chicks – naming, caring for, and paying frequent visits to the six little guests. One chick has been named K.C. – in honor of MSR alumna, Kinnidy Coley '16, who credits her middle school experience of raising MSR chickens Lemon and Brownie for sparking her love of animals and agriculture. Kinnidy is currently a student at N.C. State College of Veterinarian Medicine.
Later this month, K.C. and the rest of the chicks will be escorted back to BCC by MSR’s rising 7th graders. In the fall, these same students will continue to care for and learn from their new fine, feathered friends.