You can learn a lot from five minutes of tree climbing. We kicked off another week on the trail discussing trees, observing trees, and yes, climbing them. A few minutes of observing kids around a climbing tree offers a plethora of information easily transferrable to the classroom.
Our focus this week was on parts of the tree. We want to learn about the parts of tree so we can better understand how we use them and why we need them. We sang a special Leaves, Branches, Trunks, & Roots song to the tune of Head Shoulders, Knees, & Toes and then found each part and discussed them.
We reviewed that discussion with a chant.
Leaves help the tree EAT.
Branches help the tree GROW.
The trunk helps the tree STAND.
Roots help the tree DRINK.
Hard work requires a break to play, so off we went to the rock pile and the hidden forest. In what tends to happen, play tends to turn into what others may consider work. Children were digging put the rock pile and children were clearing the forest floor of logs and branches.
Play also tends to lead to new discoveries. Whether it be of the big variety or maybe a collection of nuts, time in nature always produces spontaneous activities that motivate, engage, and entertain the participants.
Through our play, our more structured activities and the spontaneity of the outdoor classroom, we connected tot he natural world and dug deeper into the world of trees. The digging continues next week.