We need the tonic of wildness… At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and see be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough nature.
~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
This week in Nature Club we learned about birds and feathers. While outside on our nature walk, the children brought along birdseed and left it out for the winter birds. We walked quietly using all of our senses. I asked the children to really look, listen, feel and touch without making sounds. They found so many beautiful birds and discoveries.
Each week they look for items that are in their scavenger hunt papers inside their Nature Notebooks. It was really sweet to see how they all worked together to find various items. I love that it is a mixed age group because the older children help the little ones and it is so much more natural than traditional classroom settings.
Back in the classroom we talked about how different birds nest and the importance of feathers. Did you know that feathers are waterproof and help keep birds dry or that some birds build their nests with seashells?
I showed the children photos of some of the more common birds in Connecticut and the ones that I often see at my bird feeder. I had a few Blue Jay feathers from my yard and I asked the children to go through the guide book and identify the correct bird the feathers came from. They were so proud of themselves when they figured it out and tried to match exactly where on the body the feathers came from.
I really enjoy working with children in this way. Some of them in particular are so enthusiastic about our earth and learning about nature. You should see their faces and hear their comments. It is such an amazing experience to be able to share this time with them and watch as they make discoveries and develop such a deep love for the natural world.
My hope is that I am planting little seeds in their hearts that will one day bloom and help to change our world. From what I’ve seen of these young people, we have a lot to be hopeful for.