PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Urban Nature Studies Elective – Grade 5

This week students enjoyed a farm to table experience, growing oyster mushrooms in the classroom and then prepping and cooking them (along with other ingredients) to make delicious mushroom tacos. Frankly, I have never seen so many kids enjoy mushrooms like this–in my own home, they are abhorred by my husband and sons alike and I am sadly, the only mushroom lover in the house. I eat them and I photograph their beauty.

With mushrooms on the mind, students then went the following day to Floyd Bennett Field, where they did side-by-side with scientists testing soil, collecting seeds and recording data to help identify the type of soil at Floyd Bennett Field. Before beginning their research, however, students ran around the open fields, pointing out mushrooms galore! One favorite was the puffball, a chubby fungus that spurts airborne spores at the slightest nudge of a foot.

Our trip to Floyd Bennett Field is part of the Growing a Wild NYC program, in which schools plant gardens to attract native pollinators. This is my third year involving students in this important program and I am getting closer to obtaining the right to start a pollinator garden in Seth Low Park. Any parent interested in joining my committee should contact me at More to come!