It was a short week with the Thanksgiving and Hanukkah holidays, but we still took time to express our gratitude for each other and the natural community. Children wrote and dictated things they are grateful for onto wallpaper hearts and hung them on our tree of thanks. We also made bird feeders outside using apples, oranges, and cranberries strung upon the trees. We donated small gifts to our Basket of Thanks for the local fire fighters, too.
We continued to explore nocturnal concepts by comparing flighted creatures (owls, bats, and flying squirrels) with the possum habits we discovered last week. From making moon pies and moon play dough to meeting a live barred owl, this week was a hoot! Families also joined us for a hay wagon ride during American Education Week. Notice the hand-print owls, moon/stars mobiles, and leaf sit-upons we made this week, too.
As the autumn sunlight dwindles, we turn our thoughts to the night. Students explore how nocturnal animals are adpated to life under the cover of darkness. The resident opossum made a guest appearance in our classroom, too! We held our annual fall harvest campfire to celebrate the season and put our own senses to the test during a moonlit night hike. (Note: Campfire photos were graciously provided by Carolyn Bookholt.)
We discovered the amazing habits of crows and their behavior in fall. We also thought about the relationship between farmers and crows with scarecrow-making. Notice all the play opportunity and skill development taking place while using loose parts to make a huge nest, climbing on hay bales, sorting feathers, drawing birds, making pine cone crows, using feathers with homemade play dough, and playing meadow hide-and-go seek with binoculars. If only you could have heard our classes cawing back and forth through the forest!
We continued to examine nature’s bounty in fall. We considered all the foods that are harvested from farms as well as the hard work farmers do to harvest this food.
From seed to vine we examined pumpkins and other fall fruits. We visited a pumpkin patch, too! Children loved pumpkin bowling, dissecting gourds, floating the fruits in water, and experimenting with pumpkin seeds.
We explored fall seeds this week – it was NUTS! We discovered the creatures that rely on acorns, hickory and walnuts as they prepare for winter. We loved playing squirrel games, making acorn paintings and searching for fall clues during our hikes.