Mitten bouquets, pine needle porcupines, fenced campsites, and cemented log bridges; christmas carols around coniferous stick tree, black walnut boat races and leaf life cycles. All in a day at nature school. How does this fit together with a theme of coniferous/deciduous trees and why leaves change colour? Well here are all the details...
This morning was a bit frosty so the campfire was blazing at arrival time. We built a coniferous tree outline and added needles and cones from Pine. The needles fit perfectly into slightly open cones to make a hedgehog or porcupine which may have sneaked home in a backpack pocket. We learned two big words, clapped them out, and now we know how to describe a tree with broad leaves that fall and those with needles and cones. Practice together locking these terms into memories - con-i-fer-ous and de-cid-u-ous.
Along the trail we collected leaves in different stages of change. What colours and patterned leaves did we find? Describe how we placed them in a circle starting with new green leaves and ending with brown decomposing ones. We read a story about why leaves change. Can you get a retell of the BIG ideas (chlorophyll makes leaves look green, less light and colder temperatures in fall makes chlorophyll break down, the true leaf colour shows through). Clap out this new BIG word to describe this important seasonal change (chlor-o-phyll).
Off to the Backwoods through the archways of Black Walnut trees along the creek. Of course we must float, race, and throw these baseball sized nuts. What did your child do with these numerous nature toys? A quick camoflauge is always called for where trail meets field. Osprey was the owl on lookout. Did she find you quickly or were you well hidden from view?
Where did everyone go??
Oh there's one!
The backwoods is an ideal place under the pines and beside the creek to explore. Check out the many novel ideas your children brought to this collaborative wander time. Watch for the cooperation between friends on projects that expand as more ideas are added to the mix. See if your child remembers their wildflower tickets to get into the backwoods and lunch time? (Aster, Goldenrod, Fleabane - all review from last week). What change was noticed with the flowers that were around the farm last week?
Tree friends were visited and measured today using giant meter steps and measuring tapes (Sapling Group). Check in with your child about how they figured out their tree’s height and circumference. What special things did they notice about their special tree species? Ask for the descriptive words used in their writing today.
Now this doesn't look like measuring....what is happening here?
Our afternoon rotations were so much fun. Which activity did your child do today? Was it watercolour painting or horse grooming and hayloft time? We see so much artistic talent in this group along with interest in care of the ponies like brushing, picking hooves, treating issues, and painting hooves to protect them. We will continue building this relationship and knowledge throughout our year together. Next week a switcheroo will happen, so you won't miss anything.
Wonders and Wanderings - how do these fit into our story of the day?
Wishes and stars today were all about doing favourite things again next visit. We know that repetition allows children to feel confident and capable. These wishes are added to our script for future programs. Our kids really do have a hand in setting the agenda at the farm.
During this tumultuous time in parts of the world, I am reminded that our job is also to model and move these children towards being passionate peacemakers. Their joyful energy today, support of one another, and happy laughter makes me feel we are heading in the right direction. Happy trails until next week Forest Friends. Rosie can't wait to see you next time:)