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1. Go to a natural space Go outside, bringing a camera/phone with...

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1. Go to a natural space Go outside, bringing a camera/phone with...

1. Go to a natural space

Go outside, bringing a camera/phone with you.  Find a natural space. This could be a trail, a park, or even a patch of grass beside your door.  Ideally this should be a place you are familiar with, that you visit or walk past all the time. Walk around in that space and stand still for a few moments and listen.  Engage your senses with the earth, the wind, the sun, the rain, the grasses, the leaves, and everything around you.  For the next 10-15 minutes, notice the world around you. Focus your attention on noticing the more-than-human world. The plants, the air, the birds, the trees, the bugs, the clouds, the wind, the grass; anything, other than humans or human made materials. 

Consider these things while you are in that natural space:

  • What does the ground look like?
  • What does it look like when you look up?
  • What textures stand out to you?
  • What smells do you notice?
  • What do you hear?
  • What is the smallest more-than-human being you notice?

 

 

 

As you end your time outside, think about:

  • What did you feel while you were in nature?
  • What did you wonder about?

     

 

2. Observe a child or children at placement in a natural space

While at placement take a group of infants or toddlers to a place in nature.  This could be part of the playground, under a tree, or in a natural environment that your Field Mentor chooses. 

Observe how the children interact with their natural environment.  Use the following questions to guide your observation:

  • What do the children do in that space?
  • What do the children look at?
  • What do the children pick up or notice?
  • What might the children be feeling or thinking?
  • What might the children be wondering about?

 

3. Bring the two experiences together and share with your colleagues

Using your experience with nature and your observation of the children, you will create a documentation to share with your classroom colleagues.  Reflect on how your image of the child and image of the educator has changed or grown .   

 

  1. See...write the story of your experience outside and the children's experience outside.  What parts stood out for you?  What did you do? What did the children do?  What were the important moments for you? You cannot tell the whole story, so you have to pick the parts that were most important to you and share those so that someone who was not there can imagine it.

 

  1. Think...Begin to dig deeper into your understanding of the moments. What happens if you look closer and observe with curiosity - looking for the questions instead of the answers? What were you thinking about?  What were the children thinking about? What theories were you testing? What theories were the children testing? Compare your thinking and the children's thinking. 

 

  1. Feel...What were you feeling during this outdoor experience? What do you think the children were feeling during their outdoor experience?  How did it feel to be part of the learning process while you were outside, and while you were observing? Compare your feelings and the children's feelings.

 

  1. Wondering about relationships...How has this changed your relationship with the outdoors?   What more do you want to learn?  Does this change the way you think about the relationship between the children, the adults and the environment?
  2. Connect... Pick one foundation from HDLH and make a clear connection between your experience, your learning, and the foundation.  NO ELECT.

 

  1. Act . . What ideas do you have for extending the children's exploration and learning, thinking about your pedagogy and/or your own relationship with the land? Any final thoughts or summation of these parallel experiences?

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