Tag Archives: nature

Recess: Outdoors and sometimes indoors

When the children and I leave the school building for playground time or recess, I feel a sense of relaxation and heightened awareness. We can see farther and the input from the surrounding environment to our senses changes every minute as the wind blows, the sun moves across the sky, and we cross paths with […]

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Taking a nature walk

Upon reflection on last year’s practice of taking children on “nature walks” outside, I see how much they enjoyed nature, made gains in vocabulary and became familiar with diversity in plants. In June, at the end of the school year, I had the occasion to write to the school families about their children’s nature learning from experiences in the […]

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Preschool experiences in a winter forest

Once a month each three-year-old and four-year-old class at the Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool (AUCP) spends the morning on a fieldtrip at a local natural area. The lead nature teacher arrives and spreads out a large tarp and a few sleeping bags as a place for their morning meeting. On this occasion the ground is cold […]

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Supporting children’s interests

As we take a nature walk on the paths through a large garden area tended by church members, the children always want to “go to the pond.” This body of water is an 8’ by 10’ pool with pump-circulated water flowing from a raised area. We watch the flow, bubbles and talk about the fine […]

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Do children in your program have direct access to nature?

Being outside under the sky is different from being inside under a roof. The experiences that can happen in either place are not necessarily better than the other place, but they are different. We know that children can learn about distant places and the living organisms in those places by using non-fiction books and videos, […]

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Q&A about natural spaces for children

It was a perfect early summer day with temperatures in the low 70s (F) and a gentle breeze that make it easy to be outdoors for hours. We had a combination of shade, sunscreen or hats to protect from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and a pitcher of water to drink when thirsty. And we had […]

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Whether from Spiderman or Voltaire, the sentiment proves critically important to our approach to science education. As such, we hold great power to encourage, enlighten, and nurture young minds that are inherently curious and full of poignant questions. As good teachers, we are responsible not to be the authority that provides the answers to students, […]

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Fall changes in trees bring science and art together

The colors of the autumn leaves in my area call out to me for attention and to bring inside in a basket for the kitchen table. Outside I arrange them into patterns pleasing to myself. While making this ephemeral art with natural materials, artists may notice details about the materials that we might otherwise overlook—the […]

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Summertime science investigations and International Mud Day

Many children investigate the natural world more fully in summer, building their understanding of natural materials and phenomena through small moments and large. Jumping into water Pushing stones           Moving water with tools Finding a small animal           Harvesting an early crop   Climbing a tree   […]

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On observing animals

Do you remember the book Play With Me, (Viking Press, 1955), written and illustrated by Marie Hall Ets about a child observing wildlife? Including Play With Me, five of her book are Caldecott Honor books. I also love her book, Gilberto and the Wind. In Play With Me, a young child seeks to play with animals […]

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