Friday, October 5, 2012

Nature and skills - a magical connection

Egg on leaf.
Now it eats its egg shell.  Now it molts.

Now it makes a chrysalis.  Now it comes out and spreads its wings.
Flys to Mexico and back.  Finds a nice milk weed leaf and lays an egg.
Egg.  The End
A first grader's retelling of the life cycle of a Monarch butterfly.  Beautiful in its attention to detail, composition, and story line.  I love the way it begins with an egg and ends with an egg.  A sophisticated piece of writing and it shows keen skills of observation.  It is also an example of curriculum integration: language, art and science.  Each student's book on the Monarch life cycle was different - and held beauty, knowledge and skills within.

Here is an interesting article about how 50 minutes of walking in nature is proven to increase focus and short-term memory, as well as sense of well-being, Sharpen Your Memory with a Simple Walk in Nature.

It definitely makes a difference in children's learning - Muddy Boots Club, recess in meadows and woods, and classes organized around using the outdoors give our students an edge I think!

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