Children need quality time outdoors, every day. I plan and facilitate outdoor, exploratory and adventurous play and learning activities for kindergarteners. Activities afford them the opportunity for transcendent and emergent nature experiences.
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!
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just a poor choice of clothing.”
September – Following Paths & Constructing Adventures: Mapping and Navigation, Geocaching
October – Hunting and Gathering: Plant & Animal ID, Nature Photography
November – Animal Allies: Giving thanks, connecting with nature, and service-to-nature projects
December – Making Forts and Special Places: Weather, snow science, winter adaptations and shelter-building
January – Descending into Fantasies: Story telling, writing, photography, videography and performances.
February – Creating Small Worlds: Building our own world, in a special place.
March – Trash to Treasure: Repurpose waste into usable art, instruments, tools, etc.
April – New life! Nature observations and scientific method; nature art
May – Book Trails: connecting literature with personal experiences
Observation and Contemplation
Obstacles are opportunities
Climbing to great heights!
EXPLORING CONNECTIONS: EARTH, WATER, AIR, FIRE
Sample Skills and Learning Opportunities
–science mysteries (objects, current research/science news, legends/myths)
-quote to start the day
-5-10 main games (observation games, team building games, and review games)
-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
-seasonal monitoring (precipitation, bird boxes, bug traps, animal track stations, bee blocks)
-skills training: watching wildlife, photography, natural print making
– 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
–scientific method/asking questions and making a plan to get answers
-using guide books
-handling and caring for animals
-plant identification and uses
-survival fire construction
-observation/drawing in nature
-water from leaves/solar still
-music (set of songs we learn together)
-fire skills (1 match fires, flint/steel, magnesium, etc.)
In collaboration with the Meadow Branch Library, 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.
High School Semester JOY (9-10th)
Year-long course. One block period during school day.
First Semester focuses on preparing for the next semester’s Road School trip, planned, designed and implemented by students. Small group (4-6 students) plans the complete semester on the road during the fall semester, using skills learned in academic classes: reading, writing, research, history, map reading, geography, science, technology, music, art, wood shop and mechanics. Four principles will guide planning; Peace, Joy, Fun and Purpose. Students will learn how to “fun-raise” to pay for their semester on the road, and reach out to communities to seek other options for housing and food. $TBD