The themes are really starting to come together in an organic way, with learning and skills from one day building to the next day. Major themes emerging are:
- predator and prey relationships, mainly resulting from our daily games.
- food webs
- observing animals, birds, bugs and plants in their natural habitats, and using guides to identify them
- noticing, measuring, recording and predicting the weather – a daily activity
- looking ever closer to notice details – a daily activity.
As teachers, we’re also noticing how quickly the children pair up for walking, how quickly they can pack up supplies and get ready to move to a new location, and how they have built their ability to focus in an outdoor setting. The children are enjoying their freedom to explore a wide area, while respecting the designated boundaries. They are building their stamina and endurance, and their ability to take care of their own needs and belongings. By the end of day four, we had walked nineteen miles together! The older children are also growing as leaders in their research groups.
Fun activities we engaged in today included:
- feeding the ducks
- predator-prey skits Some of the relationships acted out for other children to guess included hawk and squirrels (lots of scurrying, and hiding in ‘holes’ and warning sounds), and coyote and deer (coyote working together to capture a deer separated from the others.) Behaviors we know that prey animals use include warning signals, hiding, fleeing, freezing. Later this day we also learned about defending. Predator animals might work in a group, or be solitary, sneaky attackers.
- a new environmental game called “Muskox Maneuvers’ In this game a few children were wolves and used teamwork to capture a calf. The other children were the herd of muskox. When a predator was sighted, the babies huddled together, surrounded by the cows. The bulls actively defended the herd, trying to chase off the wolves. We played three rounds with very different results each round. Once the wolves were chased off. Another time several wolves were killed. On the third time, the wolves broke through the defenses and managed to kill a calf. Basically, this was an environmental version of flag football!
- research projects – results revealed tomorrow!
- A look close, look closer still with a magnifying glass, and look even closer, using a microscope activity.
- lunch outdoors with friends, followed by free play ~ always favorite activities!
I so enjoyed this day, from start to finish. I can’t wait for tomorrow, when each group will present their research projects!