Well, I think it may be only in Canada that we can experience weather like we did this week!! On Monday morning we arrived to temperatures of -21 degrees celsius! It was a cold morning for sure but our Nature School kids are hardy, both in body and in spirit. We braved the cold with a few inside breaks to warm up. We did lots of moving around with game play, some sledding, some shoveling and some play on the ice. Inside, we began work on learning to tie some knots. The kids worked hard on perfecting their reef knots! We were also introduced to the Seven Sacred Teachings of the the First Nations people of Canada. These are teachings that First Nations people pass down from generation to generation and it is believed that, by living life through these teachings, humans can live a balanced and peaceful life. They remind us of our connection with our ancestors, with the earth and with each other and they are required to maintain a successful community. This week we focused on ‘Respect’. We spoke about the definition of respect, what it means to each of us and how we act respectfully toward each other and toward the earth. We will continue to talk about this teaching over the next few weeks.
Tuesday was another cold one and it was a bit of a quiet morning with only two kids at Nature School. Once again, we kept very busy physically. This included going on a long nature walk through the woods. We made many observations about the ways in which extreme cold has affected our natural world. We discovered that the chickadees are quite hungry in this weather as we were able to entice them to land on our heads by sprinkling a little bit of seed on our hats. We warmed up inside with some hot tea and stories.
We woke up to a beautiful dump of white fluffy snow on Wednesday morning this week and I was so excited! Unfortunately it quickly turned to rain as the temperatures climbed to 4 degrees. Like I said – only in Canada. This left us with some icy conditions for Nature School on Thursday and the odd unfrozen puddle. Having said that, Thursday temperature was much more tolerable and we had a great day outside. We had been seeing so much evidence of rabbits in the yard and the forest so I though we could learn a little bit more about them. We pretended to be rabbits, we learned about what they eat in both summer and winter, we learned about how and where they live what they do in the winter, who their predators are and so on. We hunted for further signs of rabbits and found what we believed to be rabbit dens. There was lots of story telling on Thursday as well. We have some new animal puppets in the classroom and used them to tell a story at lunch time. We also sat in the forest and told cooperative stories in the afternoon. With shovels in hand, the kids helped to create a new sled run the yard that we enjoyed using for quite some time.
This week included a few cold fingers and cold toes but tons of fresh air, exercise and giggles.