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  • upstreamforestschool

Grey Squirrels, 5 Mar

Grey Squirrels explored navigation with a focus on compass directions and map making. With each of our compasses we went on an adventure across the Bluff to a great vantage point on Crescent Road. We laid out compasses in an array to notice that they all pointed in the same direction and to notice what letters are marked on a compass and what they mean. From there we identified key features in each direction and drew them on a map, eg. downtown buildings (South), mountains (West), houses (North). This activity encouraged children to draw what they see, to think about the concept of maps as a record of a place and to understand compass directions as they relate to where we are on McHugh Bluff. Following from this we played games, navigating around the hill using compass directions to allow the children to develop their sense of direction as they move around.

A magnificent fallen branch was a great treat for our class as the class took it upon themselves to transport this huge branch in a team effort to our spot to work on it with their tools. This fresh wood was so rewarding to strip and cut, everyone got involved. It was an indicator of experienced forest schoolers that this class were inspired by such natural elements and knew which tools and what approach to take to make the most of this opportunity. This kind of student -led initiative is a privilege for us teachers to facilitate and observe.

Our animal game was a thoroughly enjoyed cooperative activity to round out our class and warm up as the cool temperatures came through. With some strategy, cooperation and keen observation this game is a new favourite and reinforces concepts of predator and prey.

Ask you Grey Squirrel:

- what direction are the mountains?

- what are the compass directions, can you describe something that you saw or drew on the map, in one of the compass directions?

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