Recently our walks have been full of observing the changes that the forest is making as it transitions into spring. This has provided very relevant opportunities to wonder and learn about plant life cycles, stages of tree growth, and types of plant species. We have been making predictions about what different buds will turn into, what the leafless plants will be, and what will happen next. We usually start our walks asking the children to be nature detectives and find clues or signs of spring.
“Look, look something is different, it is new” a child commented as we walk around our special tree.
“What is that?” another child asked.
“It must be what a Douglas Fir branch looks like small” another added.
“No that looks like a snail” a child noticed.
“Gross, it reminds me of a brain” commented a child.
“I notice it has a long stalk and then a curl” I commented.
“We saw lots of those on the walk down, not on trees” commented a child.
“I wonder what it will turn into, I bet if we wait we will find out in a few days” I commented.
“It is going to be a maple tree, there is a maple tree up there, and the seed fell, the Douglas Fir is the nurse log” a child commented.
“A nurse log is dead” a child argued.
“No! Not all the time” A child demanded.
“I know the real answer. The real answer is it is going to be a sword fern that is the real answer” a child said with authority.
The children’s attention turn to a baby banana slug that is at the base of the tree. Two children find banana slugs, one small and one large. They hold them close to each other and they talk about how they have to stay close because one is the mom and one is the baby.
“Don’t put her near a Trillium, she will eat it” a child predicted.
The forest is very quickly turning changing, and the children are noticing plants, slugs, ants, and many new birds. The children’s conversations have been focused around growth stages, types of plants, what plants need to grow, pollination as well as what animals are doing at this time. Currently, they are working together to creating a book about what they are learning. To explore plant growth further we are also growing vegetables in our school garden, and the children also have their own garden to explore inside.