Travel back to when you were just learning to tie your shoes. What did YOU know about where you were on the map of your community, township, province, country or even in the big, wide world. There is a moment when you learn where you are in relation to all the things that you care about; your grandparents house, vacation spots, Toys R Us! Today we experienced this special feeling of place while treading around the giant compass rose, using directional names to figure out which way to travel to get to all these amazing places. We even visited Santa in the North Pole!
Next time you take a car ride, have a chat about your direction of travel, make a game of establishing some fun landmarks on your route, add a stop to notice a bridge crossing or forested area. Watching devices while traveling, even using GPS, has left so much landscape unseen.
Happiness is helping! Chores today seemed joyful and more purposeful. Horses stalls were mucked out, feed rations mixed, and the chickens were ecstatic to be released from the hen house despite the weather. Your children must be real charmers because they found the first eggs laid in over two weeks:).
Hayloft warm up is always a blast, then on to our story connecting mapping to this land. In the story Magnolia’s Magnificent map, the main character needed one more spot to complete her map of Walnut Grove. Ask your child what Magnolia found and see if they recall some of the features on her map. Thanks to Squirrel for holding the spotlight:)
The first step in mapping an area is ‘exploration’. Starting out on our walk each child was given three pegs to flag areas they felt should be on the map of Stoneridge Farm. See if your child can tell you about their areas or features and why they chose them. Here are some pictures to jog their memory. Enjoy the conversation.
The farm has changed since our last snow adventure. What did we notice or happen upon? (Goldenrod gall with larvae, groundhog hole - Oak stepped in). What fun activity led to some healthy competition on Crayfish Creek.? (burdock leaf boat race).
Our second book, Mattland, was about a young boy who has moved to a new housing development with only mud and NO friends. He begins to create a map using a stick to draw a curvy river, then begins to name and add more features. Soon others join in and work together to create Mattland, an amazing collection of hills, waterways and even a UFO pad.
What must now be done is for us to create our own map of a fantastical land. We had LOTS of materials and got right down to work, digging, building, hauling water, and modelling. Using tools safely was part of this creative process; using snippers and a saw to cut spruce bough for our forest features. The teamwork was wonderful, with partnerships forming around good ideas carried forward with bubbling group energy. Ask your child about 'Forest Wonderland’ and their contribution to this GIANT map. These kids were proud developers!
The farm spaces have become familiar and we love learning here.
We just had time to reflect on the exploration of the morning and make a Stoneridge Farm drawing. Here is the map we started. Can your child take you on a tour of the farm? Some new features were named by the kids and will become part of nature school language now and into the future. We made history today! Watch for this learning to be continued next week and for the final map to come home for a BIG reveal in nature journals.
Daisy and I are so proud of the energy for learning, listening and sharing that your child brought today. Thanks to our own Raccoon who captured the afternoon, especially the teamwork as we found ourselves on the map. Enjoy your travels until next week Forest Friends:)