Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Joy School - Nature Field Trip

A fun tradition that we have had in our Joy School since the very beginning is that we have always done a nature study unit in September. That way we can have a field trip in our city's nature preserve as a great way to end off the month before the cold weather really sets in.

The past couple of years, we've added something that I love. A nature scavenger hunt! The kids are given a sheet of paper with pictures of things we can find on our walk. A bird, a spider web, a bug, a tree with autumn leaves, animal tracks, etc. Then as we go, they get to check off what we've found.

I really like it because it keeps them focused, and it also helps us notice things we might otherwise miss, such as moss growing on a tree. There are a few easy things to find (ants) and a few harder ones (a birds nest) so that we don't just finish the whole project in the first 10 feet of the walk.

We also bring magnifying glasses so we can examine the things we find along our way.

This year we had just about a perfect morning. Just a little chilly where a light jacket would do it, no need for gloves. As the morning wore on, the sun warmed us up so that we didn't even need our jackets anymore.

We hiked down to the river bank and let the kids have a little time throwing rocks into the water.

It is always one of my favourite Joy School mornings.

(As our snack this week, we ate ants on a log. Appropriate, yes?)

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