Next week, the class will be planting trees that were obtained through a special program through Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources that donates trees to 4th graders across the state. Being a former 4th grade teacher, I reached out to my colleagues and now, we will be working with 4th graders to add trees to our land.
In preparation of this collaborative event, we spent some time reviewing the parts of the tree and talking about what each part did to help the tee survive and thrive. We also talked about the needs every tree has, even creating a shirt, silly song about it.
"Sun , soil, space, water and air,
these are the things trees need everywhere."
We chanted this in the classroom and out the doors as we headed to the land to scout potential planting places.
On our way to our first stop near the inside tree, we found a rodent who had passed on to animal heaven. It wouldn't be our last encounter with the circle of life this day.
At the inside tree ( nd the three subsequent stops), we discussed if this location would be a good place to plant our trees. After debating the pros and cons of one area, we moved on to the next.
Our next stop was near one of our restoration tarps. We then traveled to the "dead alive" tree for our third scouting stop. Along the way, the circle of life re-emerged as we found the limb of a bunny right in the middle of the trail.
Nature isn't always pretty, and I am hoping we can visit our raccoon over the next few weeks and see the decomposition process in action. Before wrapping up, we went on a quick search for the "alien" we learned about last week: garlic mustard. I was giddy when the kids independently starting chanting "invasive species gotta go."
After all this tree talk, we needed a break with some natural play. The kids climbed trees, went to their "hideouts" and found fungi. A few also made "leprechaun traps" by creating holes that they covered with leaves and grass.
Of course, before heading back inside for lunch, we tick checked.