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  • upstreamforestschool

Chickadees, 5 May

Themes explored:

Edible plants on McHugh Bluff. Identifying plants and discussing safety around washing and eating plants. Dandelions were especially popular and abundant. We also found clover, alfalfa and creeping bell.

Creative kitchens and edible plant recipes. We made up our own recipes. Astrid (above) made a magical soup. The pessel and mortar and hand mixers were fun to use in the Spring pop-up kitchen.

Discovering new flowers, naming them and learning about protecting them. Our "Weeds of the Prairies" book was an excellent field guide along with laminated photos of specific plants that we used to identify what we found.

Mud play by the little creek and all the joy mud brings!

Wet wood and the effect of water on wood and how this affects, de-barking, carving, sawing etc.

Cinco de Mayo celebrations and making a Ojos de Dios (God's eye weaving project). We discussed a little of the Huichol people of Mexico and how they made these Ojos de Dios ("Tsikuri" as the Huichol people call them) while praying and giving thanks for nature.

Spring! Discussing the changes we see in the Spring. We read a book called "Sunshine and Snowballs" and discussed the different sights, sounds, smells and feelings in the different seasons. We looked for signs of Spring and will continue noticing these changes each week. We shared recent experiences of Springtime delight, be they observing birds making nests or seeing the first flowers or watching grasses turn green at our local parks or in our yards.

Skills embraced:

Ojos de Dios project - Developing over/under/around coordination toward knotting and weaving skills in the future. This activity was a colourful and enjoyable way to develop these skills and commemorate Cinco de Mayo.

Balance and stability - we played games adapted on the traditional egg and spoon race with golf balls balanced on spoons which we carried through a series of challenges and races.

Confidence with risky challenges; jumping across the creek, balancing on the stick bridge, jumping off the rock wall.

Noticing seasonal changes and cultivating a love and connection with nature through exploring the sensations available in each season.

Play skills, sharing tools, taking turns, helping one another, inventing games and looking out for each other.

Tool skills and creativity with sticks, logs, barks, leaves, seeds, flowers and paints. Hammering, sawing, filings, sanding and painting were all happening in class this week. Archer made a fort after sawing, nailing and painting his sticks, Wyatt made an array of nails to trap bugs, Abigail and Ella made beautifully painted sticks. These and many more wonderful creations resulted.

Connection Questions:

Were you a part of the red ant rescue mission?

Did you jump across the creek? Did you splash in the mud?

Were you pleased with your weaving project (Ojos de Dios)? What colours of yarn did you chose and why? Did you find this difficult to weave? Do you remember the over, under and around motion?

What edible plants did you discover on the hill? Did you taste a dandelion? If so what part (the flower or the leaf) and what did it taste like?

Did you have fun on the bridge and by the muddy creek? What discoveries did you find down there?

Did you find it tricky balancing your golf ball on your spoon? Were there any tricks you were able to do... could you stand on one leg / jump / spin around?

Did you make something in the kitchen, what did you make?

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