This article originally appeared in the Indigo Messenger in May 2016. Written by Early Learning Co-Teacher Jenni Heartway.
One of our favorite places to visit this time of year is Spring Valley. It's one of the first places that we notice signs of spring on our campus.
Once we arrive, the students slowly make their way down the creek...stopping to explore the nooks and crannies carved out by the water. On our last visit we were rewarded with many insects, lots of algae, spring ephemerals, a newt, and an animal skeleton that the students identified as a racoon.
Each discovery led to interesting discussions and wonders:
"Is that insect on our field guide?"
"What do raccoons eat?"
"Is this much algae good for fish?"
Some questions we were able to answer, and some we were not.
Allowing students the space to wonder and look for answers on their own nurtures their innate curiosity. Rachel Carson, author of The Silent Spring and The Sense of Wonder, once said, "If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in."
We are so fortunate to live in a community where our children have the opportunity to be supported by many adults who value these important outdoor experiences, whether at home, during recess, on a field trip, or in the classroom.
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