EC Exhibition of Mastery: Habitat Day
Heathwood Hall believes that even our youngest students are capable of the advanced learning that comes from engaging in purposeful and relevant research projects, and that students of all ages gain confidence through the public presentation of their work. Our longstanding Habitat Day event creates opportunities for all Early Childhood students to do both, through a sustained project culminating in a presentation to the Early Childhood families.
Given our unique setting, we view the outdoors as an extension of the classroom, and our expansive campus provides an easily accessible resource for our young students who are curious about the world beyond. Once spring rolls around, our youngest learners begin venturing out to explore the bio-diversity of the five habitats represented here on campus - pond, field, wetlands, forest, and river. After their initial exploration, each class decides on a specific area of interest and the children embark on a six to eight-week deep dive into a particular aspect of nature. Through research, exploration, and hands-on activities, the children and their teachers become fully immersed in the topic. When Habitat Day finally arrives, the children are excited to share their newfound expertise during a performance for family members.
Whether it is ladybugs, animals that hatch from eggs, pondlife, camouflage, homes made by animals, or any of the many other previous habitat topics, our Early Childhood children are thoroughly engaged in inquiry-based learning. The habitat unit of study truly embodies our philosophy of following the children’s interests, as well as supporting our commitment to scaffolding experiences that will help begin preparing for future Exhibitions of Mastery in which they will be participating.