Nature-Based Learning: Learning through the Lens of the Wild Orchid

“Writing professor Kyhl Lyndgaard finds that 19th-century attitudes about ‘Indian removal’ were echoed by a notable shift in the common names of native orchids.” This is the sentence that begins the article, “Taking Off the Moccasin Flower and Putting On the Lady’s Slipper,” published by Potash Hill, the magazine of Marlboro College. Using the Lady Slipper (sp. Cypripedium acaule), in which we’ve seen a “bumper crop” this year, as a catalyst for learning, let’s begin here, the renaming of native orchids and other plants. Learning about the history and origin of different native plant species names can support a wide variety of subjects, including Native American studies, U.S. history, ethnobotany, poetry, and ecology. In Lyndgaard’s article, these subjects are tied together by weaving a story about Indian Removal through poetry, history, and the renaming of the Moccasin Flower. Read the rest of this entry »

Nature-Based Learning: Learning through the Lens of Lilac

This week with Lilac as our point of entry, we’re getting curious and learning through the lens of food, cultural heritage, and habitat.

Now that we have turned the corner from May to June, notice the changes through your senses. Your senses can tell you what time of the year it is without even looking at a calendar. Just the sound the trees make as their young green leaves tussle together in the treetops when it’s breezy before a rainstorm is enough to signal the time of year. The next time there’s a wind, notice the sound of the trees. How does the sound differ from the winter months when the leaves are on the ground, or in the autumn when they are crisp and turning colors? Layer upon this dance between wind and leaves the changing soundscape of the birds, insects, and frogs, and you can observe what time of the year it is merely through sound. Invite your sense of smell to the table and the conversation deepens, accessing memories through the scent of blossoms, dirt, and summer rains.

LEARNING THROUGH THE LENS OF FOOD

Lilacs are in bloom right now, and unlike the intoxicating smell of Lily-of-the-Valley, which were in full bloom last week, the equally intoxicating scent of lilacs can be captured through taste. If you have access to Lilac blossoms growing safely away from the road and toxic chemicals, give these recipes a try while they are in bloom: Lilac honeyLilac cocktailsLilac waterLilac pavlovasLilac scones, and Lilac syrup. These recipes capture the essence of this flower and are delicious ways to compare and contrast the smell and flavor of other flowers, like lavender and violets. How does our sense of smell and taste combine? What biochemistry is involved with smell, and how does our brain receive information and translate it into memories and emotions? Check out these TED-Ed videos, “How do we smell?” to learn about the biochemistry, and “How to master your sense of smell” to discover the art of smelling. Between the two, learn how smell, taste, and memory are connected through the olfactory nerves.

LEARNING THROUGH THE LENS OF HABITAT 

Learning the scientific name of plants can lead us to learn about the historical context of a flower, it’s place within cultural heritage, and taxonomy. For instance, the scientific name for Lilac is Syringa vulgaris. Vulgaris is Latin for “common” (common Lilac), and the scientific name for Syringa is derived from the Greek word “syrinx” which means pipe. According to Wikipedia, “In classical Greek mythology, Syrinx was a nymph and a follower of Artemis, known for her chastity. Pursued by the amorous god Pan, she ran to a river’s edge and asked for assistance from the river nymphs. In answer, she was transformed into hollow water reeds that made a haunting sound when the god’s frustrated breath blew across them. Pan cut the reeds to fashion the first set of pan pipes, which were thenceforth known as syrinx.” Those reeds were the hollow branches of Lilac.

Word origin is one path to take when looking through the lens of habitat during the season of lilac blooms. Another path is towards the cultivation, propagation, and care for Lilac in your home garden. They’re pretty sturdy perennials that can live up to 100 years. If you ever see a large lilac bush oddly growing in the middle of a field, the chance is there was a farmhouse that once stood nearby. In this video, “The Dirt: Lilacs,” home gardeners can learn about caring for lilacs. It also can help strengthen your appreciation for lilac shrubs in the home gardens of others and within community accessible botanical gardens.

LEARNING THROUGH THE LENS OF CULTURAL HERITAGE

Lilac has a strong presence in our cultural heritage. You can see evidence in annual events that celebrate this fragrant shrub. While they are not taking place this year, festivals like the Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY, and Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University have marked the season with cultural celebrations.

Attendance to these festivals, close observation in your garden or nearby botanical garden, and review of lilac renditions by famous and contemporary artists can support multidisciplinary learning while strengthening a sense of place. Paintings to compare and contrast include, Lilacs in a Window by American artist Mary Cassatt and Lilac in the Sun by Claude Monet.

Photo credit: Lilac Infused Honey (c) Sienna Wildfield.


Nature-Based Learning with Curly Willow on the Westfield River. Nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains on the east branch of the Westfield River, Curly Willow on the Westfield is an emerging space for the passionately curious. A convergence of mindfulness and community-based education. Member, Community-Based Education Network™.

Nature-Based Learning: Spring Chorus of Frogs & Toads

On the heels of a New England winter, spring in Western MA can be very engaging to the senses. This week, take inventory through your senses and notice what’s “speaking” to you.

As you move through the final month of spring, notice what you observe through your senses and how your observations might change and evolve. Our sense of place is interwoven with the seasons and our five senses, deepening our connection to place through seasonal changes. Embedded within this awareness are self-directed learning opportunities that are sparked by curiosity and supported by community-based resources.

WHAT DO YOU HEAR? Native species are a community-based resource that can deliver lessons through our senses. Take, for instance, deep listening to the frogs and toads native to Western MA. Have you ever noticed how their chorus changes through the season? How they are quiet on some evenings and very noisy on others? Pay attention to their chorus (or lack of) and let it guide your learning! It’s a great way to support interests and education in herpetology, biology, and ecology. Start by learning the calls of different native frogs in your region. This video demonstrates how their chorus blends and changes over five months (in just 22 seconds!).

GET CURIOUS: Once you are able to identify the different calls of the frogs and toads in your area, see if you can single out their contribution to an evening spring/summer soundscape. If you find yourself wondering why you hear them one evening, and not the next, get curious and look for the answers. Maybe their mating season has ended? Is the weather a factor? Are they loud or quiet before or after rain? What’s the high and low temperature for that day? These questions and the search for the answers guide learning while putting into practice the process of self-directed education, encouraging curiosity, and delivering the rewards of following your interests.

ONLINE LEARNING:

  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library has audio recordings of different species to support your learning of different calls.
  • AmphibiaWeb provides information on amphibian declines, natural history, conservation, and taxonomy.

Photo credit: (c) Sienna Wildfield. Video credit: Cable Natural History Museum


Nature-Based Learning with Curly Willow on the Westfield River. Nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains on the east branch of the Westfield River, Curly Willow on the Westfield is an emerging space for the passionately curious. A convergence of mindfulness and community-based education. Member, Community-Based Education Network™.

Nature-Based Learning: Lily-of-the-Valley

In shade gardens across the Hilltowns, Lily-of-the-Valley makes its debut in mid to late May. This delicate, fragrant flower is rich in folklore and goes by many names. Learning through the lens of Lily-of-the-Valley, let the different names of this spring flower start as your guide for learning this week.

CHRISTIAN LORE: Names like “Mary’s Tears” and “Our Lady’s Tears” are associated with Christian Lore. Can you think of other flowers that are also related to Christian Lore? Have you ever heard of a Mary Garden? The University of Dayton has a list of “Flowers of Mary’s Sorrows” that are typically grown in a Mary Garden and can support learning about religion through folklore.

FOLKLORE: Pagan folklore associations can be found in the origins of alternative names of Lily-of-the-Valley, like “Jacob’s Ladder” and “Ladder to Heaven.” In Irish folklore, the bell-shaped flowers of Lily-of-the-Valley were drinking cups for fairies. When Ireland converted to a new Christian-based belief system, these two alternative names with roots in paganism took hold.

WORLD CULTURE & HISTORY: In ancient European cultures, the Lily-of-the-Valley was thought to protect homes and gardens and to bring good luck when brought into a home. Even today in France, May 1st is a public holiday, La Fête du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day). Let this annual observation day lead your learning about French history and culture! La Fête du Muguet is a tradition that dates back to the reign of King Charles IX in 1561. In more recent history, this fragrant flower has been linked to the worker’s rights movement, where they were worn on the lapels while participating in protests and marches.

ART STUDIES & MINDFULNESS: Lily-of-the-Valley has caught the eye of many artists. Looking through the lens of this delicate flower, let it lead you to learn about art history through the many depictions of Lily-of-the-Valley, including paintings by Marc Chagall and Albert Durer Lucas. Study how these artists interpreted the color and texture of this flower and see if you can find what they saw within your own observation of Lily-of-the-Valley closer to home. Photographing and sketching, or just sitting and observing, can train your eye to notice the nuances of light and shadow, shades of white in the flower, and tones of green in the leaves. Get up-close and give the flower a sniff. Does smell engage any other senses? Might you also interpret smells with colors, sounds, or tastes? These mindful moments make your learning relevant to where you live, connecting lessons with a sense of place through the senses, and through the seasons.

Photo credit: (c) Sienna Wildfield


Nature-Based Learning with Curly Willow on the Westfield River. Nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains on the east branch of the Westfield River, Curly Willow on the Westfield is an emerging space for the passionately curious. A convergence of mindfulness and community-based education. Member, Community-Based Education Network™.

Nature-Based Learning: Early May Buds & Blossoms

It was Albert Einstein, who said, “Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” During the spring, as nature bursts into bloom, help deepen your connection to which Einstein hinted by looking towards the emerging blossoms of flowering plants purposefully planted in gardens or self-seeded in the crevices of sidewalks or manicured lawns. Every spring, flower buds emerge and unfold into inviting blossoms, an annual appearance rooted in the seasons of the past. We can “look deep” into that past to learn about botany, ecology, art, and history. But to “understand everything better,” the beauty of a flower invites us into the present moment where it can spark reverence and capture faith in the process of bud to bloom to seed. It is there our understanding of “everything” can awaken.

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This spring, pick a flowering plant nearest you and spend a mindful moment with it every day. Use your camera or sketchpad to capture it’s unfolding process. Notice its pattern of opening, relationship with pollinators, variants of colors and tones, textures, and smells. Welcome a flowering tulip tree, azalea bush, or dandelion plant into your daily observations and appreciations. Use your senses to connect with the essence of your chosen plant and pair it with self-directed learning about plant science or natural history. Blending the two not only supports place-based education, but it also strengthens a sense of place through the cultivation of respect for nature’s process and, ultimately, “understanding everything better.”


Nature-Based Learning with Curly Willow on the Westfield River. Nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains on the east branch of the Westfield River, Curly Willow on the Westfield is an emerging space for the passionately curious. A convergence of mindfulness and community-based education. Member, Community-Based Education Network™.

Hilltown Families Printables: Where is it? What is it? Word Scramble for April.

What is it? Where is it?

Allow this free word scramble printable to lead curiosity during April! Support language arts by unscrambling the letters to identify what’s in each picture. In early Spring, look for these treasures in nature throughout the Hilltowns of western Massachusetts and around New England.

Use this printable to encourage local engagement in the natural world by searching for native and invasive species, identifying seeds from different trees, and supporting interests in ornithology, botany, and mycology.

Engaging in the natural world, a community-based educational resource available to everyone, supports a sense of place. Make learning relevant to where you live!

Click here to download.


Hilltown Families Printables is sponsored by Curly Willow on the Westfield River. Nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains on the east branch of the Westfield River, Curly Willow on the Westfield is an emerging space for the passionately curious. A convergence of mindfulness and community-based education. Member, Community-Based Education Network™.

25 Self-Guided Hikes in Western MA to Support Place-Based Learning

Support Hilltown Families on Patreon!


Here is a list of self-guided hikes to do with your family or on your own. To support place-based learning, before you head out, conduct an online search about the natural and human history of some of these community-based educational resources. Bring with you field guides, sketchbooks, cameras, and magnifying glasses and spend the afternoon engaged in self-directed, nature-based learning!

Easy Hikes in Western MA:

  • Chesterfield Gorge, West Chesterfield
  • Dinosaur Footprints, Holyoke
  • Field Farm, Williamstown
  • Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley, Lenox
  • Mass Audubon Arcadia, Easthampton

Read the rest of this entry »

Land Trusts & Native Species: Community-Based Educational Resources to Support Self-Directed Learning

Support Hilltown Families on Patreon!


Self-guided hikes are a great way to keep your family active outdoors and engaged in nature! They’re also excellent ways to support learning via community-based educational resources, including land trusts & native species!

Download this free interpretive trail guide Hilltown Families created with the Hilltown Land Trust for the Bradley Sanctuary trail in Williamsburg, MA. This guide goes beyond the typical map and route. It highlights interesting features and information from cultural, scientific, artistic, and historical perspectives. It encourages users to think about how their experience outdoors relates to other interests such as citizen science, history, literature, and social activism. Additionally, it complements the trail guides by providing additional resources and activities that extend your learning off the trail.

This guide takes hikers along the Red Oak Trail, a great walk to do with kids or on your own. On this trail, hikers will see the historical and environmental features of Bradley’s landscape and enjoy a lovely walk along Nichols Brook. One of the most interesting features of the Bradley Sanctuary is an old-growth Red Oak tree that is approximately 5 feet in diameter. Included in the guide is a formula for helping Bradley hikers hypothesize the tree’s age.

This property is available to the public year-round, thanks to Hilltown Land Trust’s land conservation efforts and the foresight of Hilltown residents who value the protection of our natural resources in perpetuity for future generations to visit and love. Each Hilltown Land Trust property has a story to tell. This partnership with Hilltown Families narrates this story for Bradley Sanctuary in Williamsburg, MA, and shows how our community places are connected to our personal stories and interests.

Use this guide to strengthen your relationship to the local land and experience these Hilltown forests and woods in new and inspiring ways.


Support us on Patreon!

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Birds Nests to Monkey Bread. Vernal Equinox to St. Patrick’s Day. Protest Posters to Kokedama.

Please confirm events before attending. ♦ Click here for coronavirus updates via CDC.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Social JusticeCivil RightsProtest PostersEducationRepair CafeFolk TraditionsSkillshareCheese MakingMaple SeasonMaple SugaringFiber ArtsTavern FarePancake BreakfastMonkey BreadVernal EquinoxSt. Patrick’s DayCorned Beef SupperIrish Family NightFamily Dance PartyMusic StudiesSouth African MusicTotem PolesArt StudiesEncaustic PaintingBotanical IllustrationNature DrawingGardensKokedamaForestsForest BathingHorticultureFarmingBotanyBiodiversityOrnithologyBirdingBirds NestsWarblersWoodcocksEntomologyNature Scavenger HuntAstronomyAnatomyMedicineMindfulnessCritical ThinkingSTEMCodingEngineeringChemistryChessLiving HistoryNatural HistoryWomen’s HistoryWomen’s StudiesFood HistoryTheater HistoryTheater StudiesBroadway MusicalHigh School MusicalCircus ArtsFatherhoodSummer Camps

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, March 14-20, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥


Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

Want to have your event or resource featured on Hilltown Families?
Click here to inquire.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Maple Syrup to Honey. Civics to Nature Conservation. Needle Felting to Basket Weaving.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Summer CampsFamily Dance PartyFamily ConcertFamily ConcertFamily Full Moon HikeFamily NightParents’ Night OutCommunity ServiceOutdoor AdventuresSnowshoeingIce SkatingPurim Radio ShowPurim CelebrationFood HistoryCommunity MealSugar ShackMaple Sugar HistoryHoneySpring BulbsNature ConservationBotanyUrban EcologyHorticultureGardeningGraftingSeed SwapOrnithologyMedia StudiesPodcastsBroadcast HistoryFolk TraditionsBlacksmithingBeehive OvensCandle MakingArt StudiesAcrylic PaintingFiber ArtsNeedle FeltingBasket WeavingCamera TrappingPhoto JournalismMuseum Daytime AdventuresMuseum Evening AdventuresMusic StudiesSacred HarpFolk MusicJazzMusical Sing-a-longHigh School MusicalWomen’s HistoryAviationChemistryFire DepartmentCivicsCareersVotingCommunity DevelopmentCohousingImmigration

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, March 7-13, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥


Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

Want to have your event or resource featured on Hilltown Families?
Click here to inquire.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Pancake Breakfasts to Winter Fare. Leap Year to Sugar Season. Citizen Science to Civic Engagement.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

STEMChemistryAstronomyAppsChessCardboard RaceEcologyHerpetologyEntomologyGuided HikeNature-Based PlayFencingIce SkatingSign LanguageArt StudiesArt WalkAfrican ArtPastelsPhotographyMobilesWatercolorOil PastelsCyanotypeLeonardo Da VinciMusic StudiesMusic HistoryQuartetBluegrassDance StudiesSwingBelly DanceTheater StudiesTony AwardPuppet TheaterCollege TheaterHigh School MusicalImprovLiterature in TranslationTheater HistoryFrench FilmLocal HistoryLiving HistoryWinter Food FareSugar SeasonMaple SugaringCommunity MealHistory of BreakfastPancake BreakfastMaple CreamGheeFire CiderFolk TraditionsWoodcarvingAcupunctureLoving-KindnessCivic EngagementCitizen Science

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, February 29-March 6, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥


Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

Want to have your event or resource featured on Hilltown Families?
Click here to inquire.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Woodcarving to Sewing. Food Science to Music History. Terrariums to Orchids.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Summer CampsSeasonsBotanyOrchidsTerrariumsNature StudiesNature Scavenger HuntAdaptationsCoyotesWildlife Story HourLocal History PlaygroupFood HistoryBeehive OvenFood ScienceIce CreamBrewingCheeseSTEMScience CafeChemistryComputer CodingChessCritical Thinking SkillsReligion StudiesBuddhismArt StudiesBlack Art MattersWomen’s Art & HistoryGirls in SportsOutdoor AdventuresWinter HikingFolk TraditionsCarpentryWoodcarvingSewingRepair CafeUpcyclingArts & CraftsTie-DyeBird HousesTerrariumsDate NightParents’ Night OutFilm StudiesFrench FilmCinematic SoundMusic HistoryAmerican Folk MusicMusic StudiesShape Note SingingChoral FestivalJazzSocial Justice SongsSocial ChangeMulticulturalImmigrationMartin Luther King, Jr.MindfulnessTheater StudiesCollege TheaterMusicalDance StudiesLindy HopTangoContra Dance

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, February 22-28, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥


Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

Want to have your event or resource featured on Hilltown Families?
Click here to inquire.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Aerodynamics to Colonial Children’s Games. S’mores to Chocolate Chip Cookies. French Films to Mandarin.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Winter FestivalLiving HistoryColonial LifeWomen’s HistoryFashion HistoryFiber HistoryDance HistoryHistory of MarriageFolk TraditionsSewingFood HistoryTavern FareCulinary ArtsButcheryMoroccan CuisineS’moresChocolate Chip CookiesPhysicsChemistryAviationAerodynamicsDronesPaper AirplanesLEGOsBubblesPuppetryMedia LiteracyPodcastingLanguage StudiesCartographyJewish FolktalesIrish LegendAnimationFrenchMandarinRacismVotingWinter BotanyZoologyNative SpeciesLive AnimalsAdaptationsCougarsRabbitsMusic StudiesInstrumentsJazzDuke EllingtonPauline OliverosCommunity SingArt StudiesFigure DrawingColor TheoryClay WorkshopInk PaintingArts & Craft SwapCreative Free-Play

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, February 15-21, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Candy Chemistry to Valentine’s Day. Moonlight Hike to Ice Sculpting.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Winter FestivalWinter Trails DayOutdoor AdventuresIce SculptingWinter HikingNaturalist SkillsIce FishingIce SkatingEcosystemFire EcologyTrackingPorcupinesNature PhotographyMoonlight HikeSpruce-Fir ForestClimate ChangeArt Night OutArt StudiesFolk ArtFiber ArtsCraftingHandmade ValentinesWet FeltingPisankiFigure DrawingIce SculptingArt InstallationMuseum AdventuresValentines DayDate NightSTEMChemistryChessLEGOsMedia LiteracyNutritional AnthropologyMardi Gras King CakeTavern FareHomebrewingOenologyMusic StudiesOrchestraQuartetSpanish GuitarPercussionFather-Daughter DanceFunding CollegeCurrent AffairsCivicsAmerican FactoriesStorytellingLiving HistoryWomen’s HistoryAfrican American HistoryVotingFilm StudiesTheater StudiesAcademy AwardsShakespeare

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, February 8-14, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Dance Party to Winter Festival. Pancakes to Puppets.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Dance PartyLion DanceNative American DanceFolk DanceWinter FestivalLuminariaCulinary ArtsPancake BreakfastHand PiesPuppet ShowShadow PuppetryMuseum AdventuresDinosaursSTEMChemistryAstronomy Chess ClubAlternative MedicineFirst AidADHDHomeopathyMedia LiteracyOrnithologyOwlsArt WalkArt StudiesMonotype PrintsPastelsFigure DrawingPaper MarblingFiber ArtPotterySewingWomen’s HistoryImbolcChinese New YearValentine MakingSwedish HeartsGratitudeKindnessCritical ThinkingSustainabilityTheater StudiesCostumesNaturalist SkillsTrackingNocturnal WildlifeHistory PlaygroupParents’ Book Club

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, February 1-7, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Lunar New Year to Women’s Suffrage. Duke Ellington to Bela Tarr. Artisan Cheese to Needle Felting.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Chinese New YearOutdoor AdventuresHikingIce SkatingWinter AdventuresWinter CarnivalMuseum AdventuresCartoonsMangaFigure DrawingIntergenerationalSelf-Directed LearningParenting SkillsForest BathingNaturalist SkillsTrackingNative SpeciesBiodiversityGardeningFolk TraditionsArtisan CheeseSakeFiber ArtsNeedle FeltingWet FeltingSTEMChemistryFermentationCodingMedia LiteracyChess ClubMusic StudiesDrumsCommunity SingGospel MusicAfrican American Music TraditionsJazzSymphonyTheater StudiesLiterature In TranslationSign LanguageFilm StudiesFashion IndustryVotingBuddhismMindfulnessGrowth MindsetCritical Thinking SkillsPlaygroupBoard GamesNew England HistoryWomen’s HistoryIce Harvest

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, January 25-31, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Quantum Mechanics to Comics. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Women’s March.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Folk TraditionsBasket MakingOrigamiHerbal MedicineNaturalist SkillsTrackingOwlsEcosystemsSkillsharingUpcyclingCommunity ServiceMindfulnessFloral DesignFigure DrawingWinter SportsSnowshoeingNordic SkiingIce SkatingSTEMAIQuantum MechanicsScience MuseumGeometryChessNew England HistoryTree HistorySpruce Fir-ForestNature-Based Arts & CraftsParents’ Night OutSocial StudiesWomen’s MarchMartin Luther King, Jr.Community MealFood TourPancake BreakfastTheater StudiesTheatersLiterature in TranslationMusicalFamily ConcertMusic StudiesPreKSoundLanguage ArtsSign LanguageMedia LiteracyPodcastingZinesComics

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, January 18-24, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Salt Science to Rye Bread. Basket Coiling to Eastern White Pine.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

EntomologyZoologyOrnithologyBotanyEconomicsPhysicsDendrologyCritical ThinkingInvestingBeekeepingNative SpeciesBirds of PreyNature Scavenger HuntMedia LiteracyComputer CodingVideo GamesChessYoYoLEGOsSalt ScienceMusic StudiesClassical MusicSingingArt StudiesFigure DrawingLandscape PaintingPotteryIce SculptingChinese CalligraphyMandarinSewingBasket CoilingWhite PineBookselling HistoryMark TwainPhotographyIce SkatingHikingNew England HistoryIllumination HistoryWomen’s HistoryEqual RightsFour FreedomsDrag StorytimeFolkloreHerbal MedicineMedical HistoryPolioAromatherapyBaking ArtsRye BreadFood TourMindful EatingForest Bathing

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, January 11-17, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
Click here to subscribe!

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Winter Sports to Chinese New Year. Polish Heritage to Needle Felting.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Self-DefenseQi GongWinter SportsOutfittingWinter FitnessIce SkatingFencingMindfulness MovementHistory WalkNew England HistoryVotingArt StudiesChinese PaintingAfrican ArtPolish HeritageAustrian MusicThree Kings DayChinese New YearMuseum AdventuresNeedle FeltingFiber ArtPotteryFigure DrawingSewingMusic StudiesSing AlongOrchestraSTEMPhysicsComputer LabCodingLEGOsChessYoYosOrigamiExperiential LearningCritical ThinkingMindfulnessCreative Free-PlaySustainabilityCommunity MealCivicsMarine BiologyIchthyologyBotanyGreenhouseCoffee ShopsCommunity MealCook Book ClubMedia LiteracyLanguage ArtsLiteracyZinesBook ArtsStorytimeWord Games

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, January 4-10, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Scuba Diving to Ice Skating. New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

AstronomyConstellationsStar GazingNew Years EveFamily Dance PartyIntergenerationalMenorah LightingHanukkahThree Kings DayLEGOsSTEMRocketsModel AirplanesPsychologyPaleontologyFossilsOutdoor AdventuresMusic StudiesSongwritingOrchestraArt StudiesBotanical IllustrationsMonetSportsOutfittingGymnasticsIce SkatingHikingScuba DivingNew England HistoryPerformance ArtPuppetryMarionettesGingerbreadPancakesCookbooksAgricultureAyurvedaHindu MedicineMagicFirst NightFirst Hike

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, December 28, 2019 – January 3, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. ♦ GingerbreadSufganiyotSolsticeSanta ♦

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Chanukah CelebrationKwanzaaSolsticeSantaNew England ChristmasChristmas HistoryLocal HistoryUrban LifeHoliday Train RideAviationPuppet ShowMerry Go RoundBoard GamesIce SkatingGymnasticsPhysicsMakerspaceTreesCandlelit HikeSpiral WalkSolstice CelebrationWinter SolsticeAstronomyFilm StudiesHoliday FilmMYO SoapMYO OrnamentMYO MenorahDance StudiesIrish DanceKlezmer MusicSing AlongCommunity MealPastry ArtsGingerbreadSufganiyotMuseum AdventuresLight FestivalLight DisplaysMenorah LightingLuminaries

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, December 21-27, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. ♦ Dance StudiesHoliday LightsNew England History CarolPastry Arts ♦

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

KindnessIntergenerationalCommunity MealLocally MadeOpen StudiosMYO OrnamentsYule CelebrationChristmasHoliday Light DisplaysHoliday StrollTrain RidesIce SkatingZoologyOrnithologyNocturnal AnimalsDendrologyWhite BirchAromatherapyPastry ArtsGingerbread HousesMuseum AdventuresArt StudiesPicture Book ArtsDr. SeussElfEmily DickinsonLiterature In TranslationStorytellingStory HourDance StudiesBalletNutcrackerA Christmas CarolIt’s A Wonderful LifeMusic StudiesWorld MusicAmerican Roots MusicSymphonySingingNew England HistoryBroadcast HistoryWinter Farmers’ Market

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, December 14-20, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. ♦ Holiday LightsNutcrackerChristmas CarolOrchestra

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Winter SportsCurlingIce SkatingOutfittingCollaborative ConsumptionMuseum AdventuresArt StudiesHigher EducationOrnithologyCrowsChristmas Bird CountChristmas FairCraft FairWinter FairHoliday StrollTree LightingLight FestivalYule CelebrationWinter LightsLantern Light ParadeHoliday Train RideCommunity MealIntergenerationalNon-CommercialOpen StudiosPlacemakingCreative Free-PlayToy ExchangeGingerbread BuildMYO GiftsOrigamiPapercraftsBook ArtsLiterature In TranslationHoliday StoriesMusic StudiesCarolingSing-A-LongChoralChorusOrchestraDance StudiesNutcrackerBalletA Christmas CarolHistoric ArchitectureSustainable ArchitectureNew England HistoryRestaurant HistoryFood StudiesFrench CulturePolish CultureWinter Farmers’ Market

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, December 7-13, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. ♦ Holiday LightsMYO WreathsFiber ArtsGingerbread

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

SkillsharingPlacemakingTree LightingMerry MapleHoliday StrollFestival Of LightsGlobal HolidaysHoliday LightsSt. Nicolas DayHoliday FestivalHoliday MusicIndonesian MusicJazzCeltic MusicParents’ Night OutPsychologyADHDCommunity HikeTiny HomesLiving HistoryVolunteeringSense Of PlaceLanguage ArtsBook ArtsWord GamesLiterature In TranslationPoetryMusicalAnimationCarolingFiber ArtsSewingFeltingMYO GiftsMYO WreathsPastry ArtsFood HistoryGingerbreadCommunity BreakfastWinter Farmers’ MarketIce Skating

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, November 30-December 6, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. ♦ Community MealsVolunteeringThanksgivingNon-Commercial

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

New England Food HistoryRecipesLocal Food HistoryThanksgiving DayBlack FridaySelf-Guided HikesGuided HikeHoliday Food TraditionsLocal Food TourCommunity MealCommunity PotluckFood SecurityIndigenous CultureBuddhismKindnessVolunteeringHistoric CanalsDance StudiesTheater StudiesContra DanceBelly DancingFolk DanceMusicalFolk MusicBroadway TheaterMYO GiftsUpcyclingHandmade CraftsArtisan TraditionsWreathGlassblowingSewingSawingSTEMPhysicsAviationPalaeographyChristmas TreesPlant BiologyEcologyFernsSeed SwapLocal AgricultureWinter Farmers’ MarketSportsFootballIce SkatingSense of PlaceShort StoriesStorytellingLiterature in TranslationPlacemakingFestival of LightsHoliday Lighting CeremonyHoliday StrollBalloon Parade

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, November 23-29, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. ♦ Native American Heritage MonthCultural StudiesSoap MakingGlass Blowing ♦

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

FriendshipCommunity MealAnimal BehaviorHibernationTurkeysDairyCulinary ArtsCookbook ClubNew England ThanksgivingCider HistorySakeVegetarianAnimal HusbandryButcheryNutritional AnthropologyHorticultureSugar MaplesSkillsharingFolk TraditionsGlass BlowingCraftsNative CraftsMYO OrnamentSewingOrigamiFinger WeavingNatural DyesSoap MakingFashion HistoryCulture StudiesNative American HeritageClimate ChangeGovernment StudiesReligion StudiesLiteratureShort StoryDance StudiesTheater StudiesTheater HistoryMusic StudiesIndian DanceMusicalBroadwayOrchestraSing-A-LongActing ClassParents’ Night OutParent Workshop

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, November 16-22, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Open Art Studios to Hockey. Veterans Day to LGBTQ History.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

BilingualFood HistoryIce HarvestBeekeepingPlant StudiesHorticultureSeedsBotanyPhysiologyEntomologyGeologyFossilsLocal HistoryNew England Food HistoryLGBTQ Local HistoryLGBT Music HistoryFashion HistoryMilitary HistoryAviation HistoryRoboticsWriting HistoryShort StoriesSpelling BeeHockeyInstallation ArtChildren’s IllustrationsPastelsGlassblowingTheater StudiesShort PlaysMusicalMusic StudiesSacred HarpDrumsNative American StudiesArtisan TraditionsOpen StudiosOrnithologyBirds Of PreyAgingParenting WorkshopParent Cafe

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, November 9-15, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Swedish Dance to Chrysanthemums. Robots to Buttons.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Locally MadeCommunity MealLocal FoodCiderPumpkin PiesTextile HistoryWomen’s HistoryNew England HeritageColonial HistoryFashion HistoryDance StudiesSwedish DanceFolk DanceFolk TraditionsTailoringFurniture MakingButtonsPalaeographyQuill Pen WritingLanguage ArtsWord GamesPoetryOpen MicOpen StudiosSTEMGeographyBotanyFall FlowersChrysanthemumsHorticultureSeedsMeteorologyCultural StudiesNative AmericanAbenakiMuseum AdventuresArt StudiesAfrican ArtTheater StudiesMusic StudiesFlutesFlamencoSacred HarpDrumsChoralOrnithologyBirds Of PreyLoonsMarine BiologyPet FosteringFamily NightHaunted FestivalPuppetsRoboticsParent WorkshopParent SupportSelf CareAyurveda

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, November 2-8, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Halloween to Dia de los Meurtos. Owl Banding to Ghosts Stories.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Spooky SafariSpooktacularMonsters BallHaunted HangarHaunted Train RideRag Shag ParadeTrick-or-TreatGravestone CarvingHaunted FarmHorror FilmParanormalNight TourDay of the DeadHalloween FestDia de los MeurtosSpidersBatsOwlsDance StudiesMusic StudiesFilm StudiesOrchestraContra DanceBiologyAnimal StudiesOrnithologyZoo AdventuresLocal FoodVegetarianButcheryApples & CiderApple PickingAviationMuseum AdventuresArchaeologyPotteryWoodworkingSTEMWomen EngineeringDate NightParents’ Night OutRural HeritagePlacemaking

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, October 26-November 1, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Pumpkin Festival to Sukkot. Dressmaking to Origami.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

RelationshipsSense Of PlaceExperiential TheaterFamily DancePerformance ArtQi GongDrummingHistoryClock TowerStone WallsTrain RideCemeteryFall HarvestFall FestivalHarvest FestivalTown FestivalPumpkin FestivalScarecrowsApplesTreesSukkotYiddishPolish ParadeImmigrationCarnivalHalloween ShowHalloween ParadeNight TourOccultMini GolfTriviaOrigamiNature StudiesBiodiversityLiterary StudiesFashion HistoryFolk TraditionsDressmakingShoemakingBlacksmithLetterpress PrintingDinosaursHealth CareDate Night

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, October 19-25, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

« Older entries

%d bloggers like this: