Monday, July 22, 2013

Nature Walk

Fresh Air ~ Fresh Eyes

Children love the outdoors and take every opportunity to explore the world around them.  Before we go on our walk I ask the children what they think they will see and write their responses on chart paper.

Example of questions I might ask

There are different types of nature walks:
1. Observational Walk 2. Investigational Walk  3. Collection Walk  4. Documentation Walk

  • Observational Walk:  A walk were the children ONLY look at their surroundings. 
  • Investigational Walk: A walk were the children use tools (magnifying glasses, binocular, etc.), and their senses to learn more about the environment.
  • Collection Walk: A walk were the children collect natural materials (acorns, sticks, rocks, leaves, etc) to bring back to the classroom.
  • Documentation Walk: A walk were the children record / document their surroundings using pen and paper, camera, or video.

Observational Walk

 Investigational Walk

Collection Walk

Documentation Walk

Classifying / Sorting Items Collected

The students enjoy seeing the items that their friends collected.  They look at each item and decide how they are going to classify / sort them.  Categories used in the past are: color, shape, texture, size, like / don't like, living / non-living

Once sorted, the items are ready to be placed in beautiful inviting baskets to be placed around the room.
  • Science Area: A common place to to add the natural materials for further investigation.
  • Art Area:  To be used for collages, 3D art, leaf / stick people, stick / leaf painting, etc
  • Construction Area:  Adding rocks, sticks, leaves, etc. as provocation for building
  • Sensory Area:  crumbling leaves,  seeds, acorns & pinecones,  etc.
  • Math Area: use items for counting sets, child made number line using found items
  • Dramatic Play: child made flower crowns and jewelry, berries for cooking, etc

A good reference book that I use is 
Beautiful Stuff! Learning with Found Materials 
By Cathy Weisman Topal and Lella Gandin