Posted by Jasmine
This time of year is always exciting! The colours are out, and students are starting to see big changes in the forest.
It’s always a joy to walk a trail each week, and hear the students exclaim “The leaves are falling” — or as one student put it, “The forest is looking messier!”
At The Nature School, students are given an opportunity to connect with a place (in this case, the land at Kortright Centre for Conservation) and return to the same spaces, slowly building a relationship and a connection to that place. As we have been noticing the leaves changing, we have also noticed the acorns falling, the squirrels running around, and the air becoming cooler.
In the primary program, some of our classes were drawn to the colours, and decided to bring baskets on our hike to collect fall leaves.
We talked about the changing seasons, about what the animals are up to during this time, and about how naturally beautiful everything is. Students were given time to collect, and then created their own works of ephemeral art looking at inspiration from Andy Goldsworthy.
Students have also been exploring the different types of trees at The Nature School, studying the leaves, the shape of the canopy, and the different bark.
From Sugar Maples (native) to Manitoba Maples (not native) students have been learning about the different trees around our spaces — and keeping this documented in our Nature Journals, so that we can come back to these trees throughout the year and see how they have changed.
In our pre-school program, students have also been exploring the forest, collecting nature’s treasures, using the leaves to make Nature Crowns, collecting acorns to take home to loved ones, and painting with mud.
Learning the routines and flow of our day has also been a focus with our Nature Preschool students: hanging our bags, saying goodbye to loved ones, and engaging in play while we wait for our friends to arrive and start our day with a morning circle, story, and snack.
We are looking forward to more adventures to come in the next few weeks and months. And as the weather continues to change, we look forward to seeing how we change with it.