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Agriculture & The Environment

A&E Courses Are Two Year Long, Interdisciplinary & Cross-Curricular Courses With Four Common Strands:

Equestrian, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Outdoor Recreation, and Environmental Studies and Sciences (ESS)

There Are Four Strands in the Agriculture and Environment Courses:

  • Equestrian

  • Sustainable Agriculture

  • Sustainable Outdoor Recreation

  • Environmental Studies and Sciences (ESS)

Plus One Major Reading With Harkness Discussions Each Year

One book per year, plus a few supplemental readings form the readings for the Harkness Discussions that are held on overnight and day trips including in stables. For 2019-2020 the major reading is the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.

Accessibility for Dyslexia: All readings are in both paper book and text to speech accessible OCR PDF format. Most major readings are also available as Audible and/or Apple audiobooks. Some readings can also be converted into accessible “Dyslexie” font (created by and for those with dyslexia). Though the overnight trips are screen free, students with language based IEP needs may bring a Kindle e-reader to use solely for the Harkness discussions. (Kindle e-readers read text aloud and have dyslexie font built in.). Kindles brought on trips must not be the versions with the free 3G internet network access, as all students must “unplug” from the internet and social media on trips.

Students are strongly encouraged to read/listen to their readings several times and take notes on their iPads trips, then print out the text and notes in dyslexie font on waterproof “Rite in the Rain” paper before trips. Time without screens is important for everyone.

Note: All students must arrive on trip departure day with their preparation work (readings and notes) completed. This will be checked when students are getting into the van.


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Equestrian Curriculum

Units:

  1. Riding & Driving

  2. Stable Management

  3. Equine Science


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Sustainable Agricultural Ecosystems

Units

  1. Farm Operations

  2. Farm Products & Food Production

  3. Agricultural Entrepreneurship & Business Management


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Sustainable Outdoor Recreation

Units

  1. Trip Planning

  2. Best Practices for Sustainable Outdoor Rec

  3. Teamwork & Leadership

  4. Safety & Risk Management

  5. Outdoor Pursuits


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Environmental Science & Studies (ESS)

Units

  1. Physical Geography & Geology

  2. Human-Environment Interactions

  3. Ecology

  4. Protected Areas

  5. Sustainable Natural Resource Management


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Major Readings & Harkness Discussions

 
 

One Major Reading Per Year

One environmental book per year forms the readings for the Harkness Discussions that are held on overnight and day trips including in stables:

  • Middle School (grades 7 & 8):

    • Year A Reading: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.

    • Year B Reading: Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat &/or “Summer North of Sixty” or another book by James Raffan

  • Secondary I (grades 9 & 10)

    • Year A Reading: On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

    • Year B Reading: TBD/varies based on program needs

  • Secondary II (grades 11 & 12): Varies depending on year and teacher(s)

Accessibility for Dyslexia: All readings are in both paper book and text to speech accessible OCR PDF format. Most major readings are also available as Audible and/or Apple audiobooks. Some readings can also be converted into accessible “Dyslexie” font. Though the overnight trips are screen free, students with language based IEP needs can bring a Kindle e-reader to use just for the Harkness discussions. (Kindle e-readers read text aloud and have Dyslexie font built in.)

Two PBS Video Clips About Rachel Carson and Her Publication of Silent Spring - The Book that Launched the Modern Environmental Movement

Rachel Carson is an intimate portrait of the woman whose groundbreaking books revolutionized our relationship to the natural world. When Silent Spring was published in September 1962 it became an instant bestseller and would go on to spark dramatic changes in the way the government regulated pesticides.
A clip from the Rachel Carson documentary on PBS.

Agriculture & the Environment (A&E) are interdisciplinary two year courses.

Agriculture & the Environment encompasses:

  • the OE3 overnight and day trips,

  • the equestrian curriculum,

  • Environmental fieldwork done on the trips,

  • plus fibre arts (yarn spinning, knitting, weaving,...). 

  • The majority of teaching/learning is on OE3 day (Fridays) and overnight trips.

    • Math, science, life skills, leadership, & interpersonal skills…+ some art! 

  • Learning tasks in A&E are frequently interdisciplinary, and as such some assignments appear on the report cards for both A&E, and one or more other courses:

    • E.g. Fieldwork reports such as the Eramosa Karst Hike, and the Bruce Peninsula reports & seminar 

There is a lot of hands-on, real world math in this course - including Horse Lovers Math. 

Fibre Arts are part of the Sustainable Agriculture strand of A&E within the Farm Products & Food Production unit.