Education Comes Naturally

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by Margaret Lincoln, teacher

The Kindergarten class’s visit to the main campus was part of an integrated unit on features of local outdoor environments. Throughout this unit, the children have been working with natural materials in math, literacy, science and art as a way to express their understanding and knowledge. The children have been discussing seasonal changes and we had the opportunity to meet with Cathy Beglau, our school groundskeeper who works outdoors everyday, to ask questions about her observations and her work.

Our Questions
“How old are the trees?”
“Have you seen deer? What do the deer eat?”
“Do you see ladybugs when you rake the leaves?”
“What kinds of tools do you use?”
“Do seagulls fly here?”

We learned so many new things!

New Nature Facts
“I learned that squirrels eat chestnuts!” – Ridley
“I learned that deer eat acorns!” – Josie
“I didn’t know that snails leave slime wherever they go.” – Cindy
“I didn’t know that trees could be so old. Some of them are 100 years old!” – Ethan
“I learned that snails eat leaves.” – Sophie
“I learned Cathy uses lots of different tools to fix the garden.” – Rayan
“I learned that caterpillars have very sticky feet so they can climb anything…even walls and metal.” – Tommy
“I saw green moss on the ground and on a tree. It felt so soft.” – Nancy
“I found a little berry on the grass where I was sitting when we were having our quiet spot. I think the berry came from a tree. Maybe a squirrel would have eaten it but I took it home.” – Preeya
“I didn’t know there would be golden leaves at the Senior campus.” – Gillian

Cathy kindly gave us some snails she had found and we have created a little habitat for them in the classroom. We love having them up close and personal and are drawing our observations. We will write down what we are wondering and look at ways to find this information.

The Kindergarten class also made a video of some of their work on the nature’s alphabet. Watch it here and see photos of them at work in the SMUS photo gallery.

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