Last week I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Sooke and teach students at both John Muir Elementary School and École Poirier Elementary School. I wanted to share some stories about my experience teaching these kids out in nature.
During my first program at John Muir Elementary we played a well-loved game called Forest Frenzy. Kids love it because they have to move fast and they get to run and roll around in the grass. With the next class we went on a seed and plant scavenger hunt into a nearby forest. We discovered that our feet get wet when we try to jump over the creek. We also learned that there are lots of introduced, non-native plants in this forest.
During my visit to École Poirier Elementary School I was introduced to “Grand-Mère” by one of the kindergarten classes. This Grandmother tree is a well-established maple tree growing within a short walk from their school.
I was impressed to see that classes at École Poirier already go outside each day to explore nature in their own community. They make new and exciting observations every time.
Being encouraged to play and explore in nature enables children to become aware that they too are a part of the natural world. Nature based time is invaluable to students’ development and awareness of life. It increases their comfort levels in nature, as well as their abilities to overcome challenges and succeed in their everyday lives.
This is something I hope that all children will have the chance to experience and is what I try to foster for each student I work with through our Sierra Club BC education programs.