“I have enjoyed helping the students understand the purpose for writing while also getting to show appreciation for our local farmers.”
"Where do you think food comes from?"
This was the question Meredith Montijo, pre-kindergarten teacher at Westwood School, asked her class at the beginning of their recent farming unit. Montijo said she received a variety of answers from her students including the refrigerator, the oven or the grocery store.
"At the beginning of the unit, I noted that a lot of students thought their food simply came from the grocery store," said Montjio.
After receiving responses from her students similar to those mentioned above, Montijo had a fun and creative idea. In addition to teaching her class about the jobs, responsibilities and duties of farmers, she explained what life would be like if there were no farmers.
Inspired by the thought of a world without farmers, Montijo and her paraprofessional teacher, Maribel Landerios, came up with the idea for their students to write letters to local farmers. These letters were written by the students with the intent to thank the farmers in the area who put in hard work and dedication to provide for the community.
"Every student's letter was different as they each wanted to thank the farmers for something specific," said Montijo. "They felt that they had a voice throughout this entire process."
Montijo sent the students' letters to Sims Farm in Ringgold, Georgia. Montijo said the farmers spoke with the students over the phone, and she is currently working with them to set up a virtual tour of the farm for the class.
"My students had this vision in their minds that farmers lived somewhere far off, but were excited to know that they were their neighbors," said Montijo.
Montijo's pre-kindergarten students have been working on their writing skills. This project is a real-world application of those skills and a connection the things being taught in class.
"I have enjoyed helping the students understand the purpose for writing while also getting to show appreciation for our local farmers," said Montijo.
Montijo said the class came together in their desire to reach out and thank these farmers for all that they do.
"Through the days of activities and discussion we had, the students really started to see everything that farmers do and how important they are," said Montijo. "We are eager to see the farmer's response and what connections we can make next."