When we see with two eyes, we are seeing in a way indigenous people have passed down to us; being one with the land. We are also seeing through another lens, one clarified through our life with family and friends. Nature school offers the gift of seeing the land as a teacher, not just a provider. Seeing with two eyes is known as the gift of multiple perspectives.
Today we looked carefully at life that is both under the ground and all around us. We made connections to these living things and now understand that they join together in an ecosystem, where each relies on the other. We hope you notice connection with and sensitivity towards nature deepen in your child as we travel through these teachings.
Nature is our school and playground. The morning began with a search for letters. Of course these letters put together formed two words we learned last week. But before we got to unscramble the letters to make the big words we made some other words and practiced sounding them out. What were those two BIG important words?
A surprise for us was the small frog which hopped across our path today. We spent some time observing the frog. It was very active! One fact about this frog is that it peeps really loud in the spring. What did your child notice about the Spring Peeper? With it being fall and not spring, we called it a 'Fall' Peeper for today.
This guy is hard to see. What are some special markings to look for on this frog? Hint: orange leaf in middle. But he is there hidden amongst the leaves. Ask your child why we chose this spot to release the spring peeper?
There are a lot of animals that live on or in the dirt. Looking for examples of these types of animals we shared the duties of recording, reading and collecting. What was the nine letter mystery word? While in mystery forest, we were able to find creatures like snails, slugs, centipedes and millipedes. Why are they there? What is the job that they do?
There was a lot of action in Mystery Forest today. Building a horse barn and pretending to be a horse, looking for colourful mushrooms, and finding comfortable spots to rest. We all loved swinging on ropes or climbing trees. Exploration and play in a natural area tests our physical limits gives us confidence in our abilities. We also check in on reasonable risks and how safe you feel.
Our review of coniferous and deciduous trees helps add another layer of interest which will hopefully be apparent to you on your next walk in nature. Have a chat about the differences between coniferous and deciduous trees. Can your child point out some different species? Do they know, some special features that will help them recall this tree? For example, White pine has five needles in a bundle. Ask them about the spelling trick for this number of needles.
in library, we took advantage of all the leaves that are falling from trees right now to create our own leaf pile. Check out the detail in the leaf rubbings and ask your child to tell you what leaves they gathered from the leaf buffet to make their pile. Mrs. Eastman shared a book called ';Walking Together', which encourages children to walk a good path in their life. Some of the children remembered that we read a similar book by an indigenous author about the power of hair. They could link this with the power of memory and connection by through knowledge of animals and plants. "If you know it's name, it calls to you". A powerful message!
On our hike to Cedar Hideaway we joined in partners to identify some of the common local coniferous trees. Ask your child what trees were most common on the west side of the pond. We collected some small pinches of needles to be used in an art project. if your child participated in this, they will have used twig paint brushes with coniferous needle bristles to create a beautiful deciduous tree fall scene. A fun way to overlay these concepts in one great activity. Lots of creativity! The rest of our group were busy with smelly potions and pies. Checking in about what your child did this afternoon wander time will help bring out the stories and friendship that will glue us together.
We had so much from out menu that didn't get done today, but we couldn't have felt more satisfied with the end result. Sometimes the flow of energy is moving in a direction you just want to stay with it. We are thankful for the dedicated help of Cricket, who is learning and growing along with us. Happy trails until next week for his friends:)