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  • upstreamforestschool

Rabbits, 5 April

Coyotes, catapults, rugby, nature sketching, storytelling and nest making were some of the fun things we got up to on the Bluff this week.

The interest in coyotes led us to investigate the location of the coyote den, with a conversation about safety concerns when near coyotes. We knew the den was empty but still let the class come up with what they thought were appropriate distances and ways to investigate safely. On our journey we hypothesised about coyotes' way of life, breeding, hunting and sleep habits. The class want to make posters to educate neighbours and warn them of how to be safe when sharing a habitat with coyotes... so they started sketching coyotes for their posters. We did this sketching as a silent sit spot activity. Cultivating ease with activities that support sitting quietly and connecting with nature. The class were absorbed in their work and drew peacefully at length. We scaffold this drawing activity to meet different skill levels, some drew from memory, others referenced a picture, while others traced an outline and then filled in the details.

The discovery of a wooden plank inspired the invention of a catapult/balance beam. This rich activity led to experimentation with weight and balance, it also led to some important discussion of safety and our responsibility when we are uphill for what is downhill, this flowed into a wonderful discussion of the same responsibilities of people upstream of a river for creatures downstream. It is exciting to see the class thinking about how to care for the environment around them and feel confident to navigate being and playing while still nurturing and protecting our spaces.

We made nests and discussed the materials birds and squirrels use and why. Topic as we move into Spring and observe the behaviour of creatures around us.

We shared a story from Coyote Tales. Reading aloud stimulates love of books and reading and inspires a world of questions and conversations. This entertaining story inspired some deep discussion on whether the Moon is smaller than the Earth, how orbits work and how optical features indicate size. The class also made emotional observations about feelings of characters in the book. We love the way stories bring out the curiosity of the students and they get a chance to explore ideas and express them openly with each other with space to contemplate and consider.

We got moving through some rugby games, with peer-led coaching, it great to see the class teach and assist each other, enforce the rules and manage the game all in a respectful and enjoyable way for all. We also took advantage of the exposed grass and enjoyed rolling down the hills. :-)

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