We have a year long Unit of Inquiry that has us learning about our learning. One of the big questions we inquire into is "How do we learn?" This video shows us learning about autumn and nature through exploration.
I wanted to post a video to show how many learning objectives a teacher is able to hear and observe when allowing children to explore the natural environment. As we go out in search of the elusive Mandarin Duck, the children are connecting with countless objectives in their learning.
Watch and enjoy!
The forest is fresh and new with a new group of children to explore it!
New discoveries, new feelings and emotions, new experiences to be had in our woodland.
We are so fortunate to have this amazing resource to learn from, and only a 5 minute walk from our classroom!
This is a long video, but it shows how learning changes our theories about things. .
We saw a sign that showed us images of some of the water rodents that we see in our park. There was a question as to what a beaver's tail looks like. Are they small and hairy, oval shaped, or long and skinny? Everyone thought something different.
Then, the most amazing thing happened! We saw a beaver!
Check out around minute 5 of this video to see it arrive, eat bread fed to it by a local park goer as the children were there to see first had what the tail of a beaver looks like!
Later, when the children were watching the footage we captured and reflecting on their theories, they all agreed that beaver tails are in fact flat and oval shaped.
There is nothing like a bunch of slugs to get a group of children feeling excited, scared, interested, and repulsed, all at the same time!
The children were offered chalk pastels and paper of various sizes of rectangles. Some long, some squat, some large rectangular pages were used. The results were fantastic! One long piece of paper was filled with falling leaves and the tall tree trunk up the middle. Red, orange, yellow and green coloured sketched leaves covered their papers. Autumn is here and the children are contemplating the changes they see.
Sticks have a beautiful way of becoming whatever you imagine them to be!
What can we do with sticks? This was the question asked to the children today while out in the forest.
It takes time to adjust to new things.
Many children have never spent time in a woodland. The exploration about how to get there, how we and how we feel once there, and all the new uncomforts and wonderful discoveries brings up a lot of emotion.
We walked into the woods near the school.
We wondered how we could find worms.
Alp found a worm by singing to them!
Worms and slugs are usually the first minibeasts that children have close encounters with at our Forest School. They move slow and allow children to see and feel their cold bodies. It is an exciting moment with some children very keen to hold and touch them, while others are repulsed but interested. Experiences like this help children to understand that the forest has life in it, that this is a home for someone or something, and that we must respect that.
It takes time to get to know ourselves in a new space. We have to create a relationship with the space. During the first few weeks of Forest School we hear squeals of excitement, shudders of disgust, whining when hands get dirty, shouts of 'come see this!' and a whole lot of laughter.
The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful!
– E.E. Cummings
While you are throwing your child’s outdoor clothes into the washing machine, instead of feeling frustrated that your child was playing in the mud, have a sit, put your feet up, and read this article from the New York Times about why dirt is so good for them!
A Little Dirt is Good For You
I wanted to share the videos I made while working towards gaining my Forest School Level 3 practitioner's award. This might help show a small bit of what the Forest School experience is...keep in mind, most of these videos is in -10 C or colder!
Just click on the links!
Day One - Getting to know the area
Day Two - Tracking, Den Building, Eva's Fire
Day Three - Preparing a Fire, Lashings for Den Building
Day Four - Fire Safety, Tracking, Lashings, Play
Day Five - BEST DAY EVER! (Or so was claimed on the way out of the forest!)
Day Six - Play, Practice our Skills, Reflection