This school year, second graders have been busy as bees in pursuit of one of their favorite subjects: insects! During investigations in their homeroom classes and the Lower School science lab, they learned about insect life cycles by raising ladybugs and mealworms and dissected flowers to understand pollination. While visiting Ashley Hall’s Nature Retreat on Johns Island, they even dug up a one foot by one foot square of dirt to study insect ecosystems, with creepy yet exciting results!

For students, these hands-on activities vividly illustrate insects’ critical roles in the environment and inspire them to record their own observations. “After reading non-fiction books about insects, each student wrote her own non-fiction book about the insect or arachnid of her choice,” said Lower School faculty member Beth McCarty. “They also participated in a science lab where they ‘became honeybees’ and learned what it was like to live and work in a beehive.”

As a capstone, students had an opportunity to become beekeepers with Ashley Hall’s own active hives. “They put on bee suits, learned about beekeeping tools, and then visited our Upper School rooftop hives to check on our honeybees, who are healthy and storing honey for the winter!” enthused McCarty. These immersive experiences connect students directly with the subject matter and spark their desire to learn more. Now that is certainly something to buzz about!