5th Grade Mason Bee Hotels: Basic Woodworking and Self-Empowerment

Currently 5th Graders are creating Mason Bee Hotels.  We began the year focusing on our microbial community that helps our food grow and keeps us healthy.  Now we are focusing on the essential role of insects as pollinators and providing a place for them in our garden.  Mason Bees are important pollinators than can be raised to support the growth of your garden, and, unlike many other bees, they do not sting!  A major focus of this project is to get the students familiar with basic woodworking.  So far, I’ve recognized tremendous growth in confidence using saws and hammering nails.  At times you can feel their sense of empowerment using these tools.  Enjoy the video and pics!






Welcome 5th graders: microbial stuffies

We’re launching our year in art with a new project about community in a larger sense. Being the students will be getting their hands dirty this year while working in the garden, we thought we’d shed some light on how this may actually benefit their overall health in more ways than the obvious. I asked the girls if they’d ever read something that they couldn’t help talking about with everyone they encountered shortly after. Such was the case when I read Michael Pollan’s NY Times Magazine article last year, “Some of My Best Friends Are Germs.”


Reflecting on all the little things the girls need to thrive in this community, they will be making symbolic microbial stuffies. Features on their microbe will reflect a personal need or desire and the microbe will be stuffed with their hopes and fears for the year.

Here are some pics!