IRVINGTON -- Fifth-grade students at Main Street School were able to use their senses to study the Hudson River on a recent outing to Matthiessen Park.
They left their textbooks behind in favor of real-life learning on the Sept. 25 trip. Students set up data stations along the banks of the river to collect information, such as water and air temperature, and direction of the wind.
Some fifth-graders threw oranges in the river so their fellow students could test the water current. Also part of the lesson was a journey through the history of the river and region, conducted by local historian Bob Connick and former high school principal Scott Mosenthal.
The outdoor classroom was a big hit with students and teachers alike.
“We wouldn’t be able to do this in the classroom. It allows me to learn in a different way because it’s real life and very hands-on,” fifth-grader Ben Hymowitz said.
Fellow student Sadie Van Der Spuy said it is more fun to actually test water current with the oranges rather than read about it in a book.
“It’s like a field trip where you get to learn,” she said.
Main Street School Principal Joyce Chapnick said the goal of the trip was to teach students the value of learning about their environment.
The week prior to the Hudson River study, students went sailing to experience the Hudson River firsthand as they prepared to study it.
“We’re very lucky Matthiessen Park and the Hudson River are right in our backyard,” fifth-grade teacher Susan Wallace said. “We learn so much about the ecosystem from it, and since it’s so hands-on the students are free to explore in a natural setting.”
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