This week, our forest Takotas learned all about the many fallen logs around Irvine and the amphibians that love them!
Our Tuesday travels focused on the art of a log roll. Each FD had a chance to do their own log roll. We discussed the importance of gently pulling back a log and peeking around it to check. If we did find an amphibian underneath, we learned about respecting its property and space and to make sure we have wet hands in order to handle it so it’s skin won’t dry out!
We decided that it was a great, messy day to go to the stream, however, no journey is without its adventures! On the way to the widest part of the stream, the group decided to walk along the reservoir bypassing the A-bridge. This led to some stuck boots and a student and boot rescue! Ms. Sophie frantically dug in the stream for a sunken boot and eventually, it was retrieved! Whew! We all came to the conclusion that the A-bridge was a nice touch to the area after all! Good call, Irvine!
In the stream, we spent some time mucking about hoping to see some spring peepers. Although we didn’t see any, we had a great time using some scientific tools (pie tins and turkey basters) to explore the living area. We did find some really neat larvae and insects and we collected them in our scientific pie tin collectors!
Once out of the stream, we hiked back to the main trail and had our story and snack. Our book was called A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer. The story follows a great oak tree from the moment of it’s falling in the forest, to the nearly ten years later when it returned to the soil. In this time, logs are a flurry of change and activity! It made our hike back to Irvine more interesting as we took a look at all of these fallen ‘nurse logs’ differently. We wondered how old and decomposed they were, and what animals and insects may be presently using them!
Thursday took us to another part of the stream on another part of Irvine’s property, again, no peepers! Maybe it has something to do with our boisterous, excited approach every time we enter a new area! We spent more time here following the stream, mud painting and mud pie making. We had a nice folktale called The Woman Who Married a Frog from the Tlingit tribe of the Pacific Northwest. This was such a neat, fairytale-like story, that we decided to act it out!
We also found a fantastic discovery along the trail, we found a decomposing fox. It was both interesting and sad at the same time. We took some time here to think about the fox and to thank him for his contribution to the Earth. Kind of like the nurse log, we learned that his body will one day become part of the soil. These are great moments for us as educators, because they are real, thought provoking, natural inquiry pieces that pull together a lot of concepts at once. The kids always seem to remember these types of moments for the natural intrigue they provoke.
Carry On, Existential Dreamers!