Nature and Forest School

NATURE AND FOREST SCHOOL 

JOY will be deciding what days and times their Nature and Forest School will be operating during the 2020-21 school year, by the middle of August.      

sobel quote

“Learning happens everywhere”     

September 2020 – June 2021

Days: TO BE DETERMINED

9am – 4pm

Ages: TO BE DETERMINED

Group of 6 children

Children need quality time outdoors, every day. I adhere to an emergent curriculum, through outdoor, exploratory and adventurous play and learning activities that children naturally engage in. Child-centered, outdoor activities afford children the opportunity for transcendent and emergent nature experiences that help them learn about themselves, others and the world where they live.

Playing in stick forts

By giving children time to explore and know their places well,

 “They become a part of the community, rather than a passive observer of it.

(David Sobel (2005). Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms & Communities)

Children’s passions and interests are key aspects of planning the day’s adventure. Review, recall and reflection discussions and activities enable children to develop behaviors and points-of-view that become habits. I’ll have my bag of tricks, with playful activities focused on the 7 Principles of Childhood and Nature, science, ecological principles, group bonding and building strong connections with nature and their community. Clothing appropriate for current weather conditions is required!

5:17 Oliver at diverged trail

“Kids don’t bounce off the walls when there are no walls.”  Erin Kenny

Themes of outdoor, nature based emergent curriculum:

Following Paths: Mapping, Navigation, Geocaching
Hunting and Gathering: Plant & Animal ID, Nature Photography
Animal Allies: Connecting with nature, and service-to-nature projects
Making Forts and discovering Special Places: Weather, snow science, winter adaptations and shelter-building
Descending into Fantasies: Story telling, writing, photography, videography and performances.
Creating Small Worlds: Building our own world, in a special place.
Trash to Treasure:  Collecting trash and transforming it into something new.
New life! Nature observations and scientific method; nature art
Book Trails: connecting literature with personal experiences

Building and fostering friendships

       

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Observation and Contemplation

               

Animal Allies

Gentle touch

Building Forts

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Overcoming obstacles and accomplishing goals

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Exploring and Discovering 

Climbing to great heights!  

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Using spaces for own desires

Bonding

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Making waves!

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Creating art with nature

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Nature art

EXPLORING CONNECTIONS: EARTH, WATER, AIR, FIRE

Sample Skills and Learning Opportunities 

Intro routines

science mysteries (objects, current research/science news, legends/myths)

-quote to start the day

-nature names

-5-10 main games (observation games, team building games, and review games)

Mid-Program routines

-sit spots (solo meditation in their special spot)

-wandering with guide books: trees, Wilderness Survival, Edible Wild Plants, Animal Tracks, Mushrooms, Rocks and Minerals, How-to tie Purposeful Knots

-journaling

-seasonal monitoring (precipitation, bird boxes, bug traps, animal track stations, bee blocks)

-skills training: watching wildlife, photography, natural print making

Wrap-up routines

– reflections, such as “roses and thorns” (best and worst part of the day)

– floor books

– carrying learning forward, into our day-to-day lives

– future planning

Skills

scientific method/asking questions and making a plan to get answers

-using guide books

-handling and caring for animals

-building shelters

-plant identification and uses

-survival fire construction

-making cordage

-sewing

-observation/drawing in nature

-water from leaves/solar still

-music (set of songs we learn together)

-setting-up camp

-fire skills (1 match fires, flint/steel, magnesium, etc.)

Book Trails 

In collaboration with the local libraries, we’ll sometimes end our day searching for a book that will help us find the answers to our questions and curiosities from our day’s adventure.

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