We have entered a new season of change with trees almost bare, frosty winds, and grey skies. This is raven weather; a time when we learn new lessons of perseverance and caring for one another. We become watchful of our own needs while keeping an eye out for how others are coping as mother nature turns. Our friends at Guelph Outdoor School reminded me in a recent post that this time of year is a gift to our learning community, weather is a teacher.
It was actually the perfect time for us to fly out and explore a bird who lives along our waterways. We searched for letters to spell their name. Can your child remember some of the features of K.I.N.G.F.I.S.H.E.R using the letters of their name? When you looked at the picture of a mated pair could you tell which was the male or female? This is different than most animals in nature.
Roleplay helps us connect with the behaviours of animals we study. Our mated pairs set up their territory, added a fishing hole, and began finding food. Ask about your child’s partner and their experience in this roleplay game. Here are some guiding questions…
*How big is Kingfisher's territory (about 1km) and how do they defend it?
*Where do they make their nest? This is a really odd place for a bird!
*How many eggs do they lay?
*How much food did you need in this game to help your chicks survive?
It was so interesting watching teams cooperate together. Some focused on finding food, while others on defending territory, or guarding eggs. Check in to see what your child’s priority was. Were they able to keep all their chicks alive? What do they think of this unusual bird?
We timed our return to the cozy barn perfectly, just as the first icy raindrops fell. Up in the hayloft sleet was drumming on the steel roof and we were jumping like fleas. We gathered to create a new story with our stones and Dragonfly shared a fable reminding us that good stories have a flow, often a problem and a surprise (or tragic) ending. This is leading us towards telling our nature school stories in journals with loads of expression and feeling!
Our Seedling group went off to the warm cabin for journal time while the Saplings tried to get the ponies to come in from the high pasture. How did we get them to come? Finally they got to watch the ponies gallop in out of the rain.
We are now working in our nature journals taking our 'hands on' learning outside and putting it down on the page using pictures and words inside. The top of each new page always has the date and title. Ask your child what they created in journals today? For Saplings - is there a task/skill that you are being invited to work on next time? (spacing, bullet points, more detail). Of course we all just love to run after so much hard work!
After our soaking ponies finished rolling in the deep arena sand they were….unrecognizable! A big task ahead! What pony did your child groom? Ask if they know the names of everyone in the herd and can describe their personalities. Who is the bully?
What do you do and say if the ponies get too close during recess romps?
Fun Moments Today...
Raven weather may not be a favourite for many adults, but these hearty and well dressed children didn’t even seem to notice until……coming out from the barn. This icy wonderland took them by surprise. Icicles were broken off and glassy leaves marvelled at. Bunny just had to take a Japanese Maple leaf home, it was just that beautiful. Enjoy the beauty all around until next time Forest Friends:).