Meet A Tree

The children have been learning about plants and recently had learned their parts. When I asked if they knew the parts of a tree they easily stated: "trunk, branches, leaves and roots." While this is important information when getting to know trees, a tree is so much more than it's parts. It was time for the children to get to know the trees in a different way.  So off to the forest we went to meet a tree using our full range of senses.

The children looked at the trees noticing the colour, size and the shape of the trunk, branches and leaves.

Some children climbed them.

After getting to know the trees in this way it was time to get to know them again without our eyes. Given a choice of either closing their eyes or using a blindfold the children were guided to a tree.

They felt the trees, their texture, size and shape.

They smelled the trees

They listened to the trees.

Using all their senses the children got to meet a tree!

How Plants Use Colour: Animal Attraction

Once again we headed off into the forest to explore colour. The children have noticed before that there is a lot of green and brown in the forest. They have noticed the many shades of green and that it is easy to camouflage yourself in within these shades.

This time unlike camouflage we looked for colours that popped out! The first thing we noticed were the pink salmonberry blossoms peeking out at us from the layers of green.

We stop to wonder why a flower would want to be seen?

Augustine: “Maybe it’s poisonous and warning us.” 
This led to a discussion about how some plants in the forest are poisonous and some are edible and it is always important to ask an adult before eating anything from the forest.

Many parts of the salmonberry plant are edible so we decided to each taste a petal from a flower, we also tasted a tender young shoot. We harvested with respect for the forest, only taking enough for a taste each.

We returned to our original question about why flowers would be bright colou…

How Animals Use Colour: Camouflage

The last two Mondays the children have been exploring camouflage.
Hidden Snakes and Mapping (April 30)

The children spend time every day in the forest and are familiar with the landmarks. As we walk through the forest I listened as the children named their landmarks.
Simone: “That is where the bees live” pointing to a large hollow stump
Finn: “There’s the first castle,” pointing to a broad leaf maple with two trunks that had grown together forming a gnarled base.
Taiyo: “There are three rainbows along this path” each one he pointed to was a vine maple that was arching over the path.
At the meadow we split into two groups. Again, we oriented ourselves but this time we drew out our map.  First we drew the main trail, then the short side trail that takes us into a wilder area, where I had hidden toy snakes.
When we got to the spot we added some trees, logs and rocks to the map. I told them that there were many (toy) snakes hiding in the forest and we were going to search for them. However, th…