Nature Club – Food Cycles

-Jim Fowler
My winter Nature Club has come to an end and our last meeting was wonderful. The hardest part of teaching for me is letting go of the children when they leave my class.  This last meeting we learned about food cycles and the importance of ecosystems and ensuring our world is cared for in a way as to not disturb the ecosystems of living things to the best of our ability. 
 Each child made a special food cycle craft and added facts and drawings to their growing Nature Notebooks that we made the first day of our club.  My hope is that those notebooks follow them into the wilderness and the children continue to add to them even while not in class. 
 Outside time is the best time of all when we meet.  We are so relaxed and free to take our time and discover.  I do my best not to feel the need to plan out their discoveries or give them tasks to complete when we are outside.  I walk along side of them and let the day unfold as it is supposed to naturally without too much of a plan.  
 They always seem to find the most beautiful things, without any assistance from me…
These two sweet girls decided to build a nest for the birds with their own hands.  They worked for most part of the hour outside doing this together, cooperatively.  
 Then, our oldest put their new nest up in a tree for them.  They are hoping some birds take up residence.  
This experience was such a beautiful one for me.  I have decided to hold the class again in the spring and our town has asked if I would take over an outdoor camp this summer.  I’ve also had a lot of online requests for a curriculum on how to start your own Nature Club and I hope to work on that shortly and will keep you updated here and on the Little Acorn Learning Facebook Page when the program is completed.  

I think it is so wonderful that so many parents and teachers want to help foster a love of nature in our young people, especially in this very high-tech world we are living in.  It is an amazing feeling to be a part of such an important movement and I hope you will join us. 


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