Sunday, June 24, 2012

Naturalists in the making

Direct experience with nature is incredibly exciting to kids.  A recent essay in the NY Times, Nature Follows a Path of Pixels into Children's Hearts argues that even those funny videos of animals like OMG Cat Meets the Dramatic Lemur can spark children's interest in nature.  Andrew Revkin argues in his article On Children and Digital Depictions of Nature that it's the intersection of media, direct experience and sharing that experience that makes a difference.  His son's video of discovering a baby heron is worth watching to hear the authentic excitement.  However you cut it, nature ignites children's passion.

Muddy Boots Club (where Pre K 4's spend Friday afternoons in the woods, rain or shine) took children from their basic natural inclination to shake a tree to close observation, active listening and keen enjoyment.  Next year teachers are getting K-1's and 2-3's into the act for extended periods of time in the woods where they can hone these joyful skills.

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