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  • upstreamforestschool

Rabbits, 14 March

Updated: May 2, 2023

A truly great day with Rabbits this week, highlights included:

Coyote sighting on the Bluff...first identifying it and its location by its call, then seeing it and tracking it by its footprints in the snow. This wonderful blessing from nature inspired some rich conversation about what we know, many questions asked and stories shared. When eventually we could not find it we understood why the Blackfoot nation characterise the coyote in their stories as the trickster. For many this was their first ever coyote sighting and it was clear there is a great deal of curiosity about these beautiful creatures.

Fire skills....practicing safely lighting a match, developing confidence and knowledge of safe practices and experimenting by systematically burning different materials (newpaper, office paper, pinecone, yarn, fabric, sticks, wet leaves, dry sage) hypothesising how quickly they would burn, if they would produce much smoke, how long they would burn, if they would produce a large flame or just turn black.. leading to a discussion about what makes an ideal fuel for fire, at the beginning and throughout. This activity helps wary children build their confidence and works toward children feeling competent camping and becoming more knowledgable about outdoor survival skills. Also the discussion of safety and encouraging the children teach each other how to safely light a match and safety rules to remember, helps them internalise the safe practices for working with fire.

Carving/whittling.... we worked on making knives in class. Each child whittled their own knife from fresh cherry wood. Developing dextrous strength and skill, they cut their desired length from a branch with a saw, planned the handle location and worked on notching, carving a blade edge and developing more refined wood carving skills.

A quick game of mammoth, hunter, mouse, that builds negotiation skills as a team, leadership skills as they need to organise their peers to come to a common decision and encourages critical discussion of strategy.

One-on-one peer interview questions... at the close of class, children paired up and used a dice to ask questions of their peers and then later were asked by the teacher to recount specific details their peer had shared with them... this activity is always engaging for the kids and develops their communication skills, literacy skills, their confidence in conversation, and tests their active listening skills.

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