Rabbits, May 2nd
It was a spectacular day to be at the river. We were super impressed with how much the Rabbits have matured in their hiking capacity. They had no trouble getting to Princess Island and around the Wetlands and back again. Along the way we had a nature scavenger hunt that included debris from the winter and signs of spring. Some of the items were 'look at's' while some were collected. The collected treasures were excitedly tossed over the pedestrian bridge and watched as they floated under the bridge and down the river.
Along the way we saw signs of beavers and identified a number of beaver chewed stumps. We were treated to a fairly large and fresh stump that you could clearly see the beaver's tooth marks. Walking on we were able to spot two beaver dams, a number of geese, some ducks and a colony of red ants!
Arriving at the beach we settled in and talked about what we thought were good safety rules around water. While having a snack we brought out materials to make 'wishing boats' and invited the Rabbits to make their own. Some of the Rabbits couldn't wait to dip their feet in the water while some got busy making wishing boats. The intention was to sale them down the river, but it turned out it was a little too tricky to let them go so most of the boats came home today.
Water play was had involving buckets, maple syrup containers tied to ropes, a turkey baster, cooking tins and a few other odds and ends. Of course many stones were thrown and skipped as well.
We brought clay to sculpt on the beach and used river water to moisten it. The clay was cool and soft and it seemed everyone enjoyed the sensory as well as the creative aspect. Pendants and beads were made along with smiley faces and even a chicken head. The Rabbits experimented with giving texture to the clay by rolling it in sand and printing shapes from leaves and rocks into the clay. The water from the clay turned white so we also painted on rocks, which dried to a powdery white.
After cleaning up and hiking back we had a little time to spare and read the story 'Skywoman Falling' from the book Braiding Sweetgrass. The story is about how turtle island was formed under the feet of Skywoman who danced her gratitude for the muskrat that brought mud from the deep waters to the surface to create turtle island or what we know as North America.
As it is coming up to May 5th we talked about what we knew about the significance of the red dress. This was not a teacher led conversation and we did not go into detail about MMIWG, but talked about what we knew about how indigenous people were treated in Canada. The Rabbits shared what they knew and how they felt about it. Unfortunately we ran out of time, but it seemed like there was plenty of conversation left. We encouraged the Rabbits to come back with a story and we will share them over the next couple of weeks. It could be a family story or a tale that they have heard. A story from another country or province or something closer to home.