Students of the Lake Woods School are discovering that the school forest and pond provide learning opportunities outdoors.
Along the outskirts of Baudette, Minnesota, students have been learning about phrenology, or the “study of natural phenomena that recur periodically, such as migration or blossoming, and of their relation to climate and changes in season,” according to Webster’s New World Dictionary. They observe how the natural world changes throughout the year.
“I am so excited to see the kids wanting to learn about the flora and fauna in their area,” said Leah Spee, enrichment coordinator at Lake of the Woods School. “We are so fortunate to have a school forest and pond right in our backyard where we can collect data for years to come.”
The Phrenology Club was organized by Spee and Lake Woods School Board member Jeff Birchem. He is a retired Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer. Their inspiration was a visit from noted phrenologist John Latimer, host of a weekly radio show on public radio, “Phrenology.”
Latimer works with northern Minnesota schools, showing students how events in nature are documented. These include sighting the first robin of spring or the emergence of the first poplar leaf. He airs regular “Talkbacks” from students on his show.