The Detective Post #8

The Detectives returned from our long break to be greeted by some chilly, wacky, Winter weather! Bundled from head-to-toe in cold weather gear, we set out to explore the changes around Woodend, and to observe all of the changes that Winter has brought our way.

One particularly cold day, with the frigid air tickling our noses and cheeks, we set out to explore one of Audubon’s most changing features: the pond! Upon our arrival, we were amazed to see not one drop of water; instead, sticks, rocks, and leaves lay on top of a white backdrop. The pond was frozen solid! After carefully testing the ice for safety, the Detectives stepped on and enjoyed an afternoon of skating and sliding. “I think I see a frogsicle!” exclaimed one child. Another shouted “Look at the bubbles frozen in the ice!” Mostly though, we heard the children collapsing into piles of giggles as they enjoyed their own winter wonderland.

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The wacky weather brought us some days where we were not able to be at school. Naturally, this led to lots of conversations: Who did you play with while you were away? What kind of fun adventures did you have? One of the most exciting questions launched us into our newest exploration: What were the animals doing at Woodend while we were away? We began thinking about the nocturnal animals that we have here, and about the ways that they spend their days.

To be able to be awake in the nighttime, we concluded, animals must have special super senses. The first animal we thought about, the raccoon, uses its five-toed feet for a super sense of touch! Mimicking the raccoon, we used our own sense of touch to explore, feeling the sticks, leaves, and icy ground around us. We searched for signs of raccoons around the pond, and even got a classroom visit from Chester the Raccoon!

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The following day, we began thinking about foxes, and learned about their super sense of hearing and smell! We imagined what their underground dens might look like, and thought about how they use their hearing and smell to decide which of their two “doors” they use to exit their den. A visit to our meadow fox den allowed the Detectives to search for the two holes of the den. Afterwards, back on the playground, we popped on fox ears and imagined ourselves as foxes as we crawled through a tunnel! “Tickle the top!” exclaimed one child. “It’ll sound like a rabbit running above me!”

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Our next nocturnal animal, the owl, flew in without a sound and gave us an opportunity to explore our sense of sight! We thought about the owl’s huge eyes and amazing vision as we headed into the woods, equipped with a list of pictures, to find various items on a Winter scavenger hunt. The children spied around, searching for various plants, tracks, and animals, and even has a visit from Owlbert the Owl.

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Back in the classroom, we enjoyed making animal tracks in playdough, singing nocturnal animal songs, and playing with various animals in dens.

A particular highlight has been hearing about the adventures of our two resident nocturnal animal stuffies, Chester Raccoon and Becca Bat! These two friends have been heading home with different Detectives each day, and then coming back to school for us to hear about their exciting nighttime adventures! We are so excited to hear about what fun they’ll get into next!

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Spoiler Alert: In the upcoming weeks, we will continue learning about nocturnal animals!

Books We Read:

Daft Bat by Jeanne Willis

I’ll Always be Your Friend by Sam McBratney

Songs We Sang:

 

I am Nocturnal: Fox Edition (Tune: You are Sunshine)
I love the night time,
The dark, black night time,
And that is when I sniff around,
I am nocturnal,
I love the nighttime,
‘Cuz I’m a fox,
I sniff without a sound!

I am Nocturnal: Owl Edition (Tune: You are Sunshine)
I love the night time,
The dark, black night time,
And that is when I swoop around,
I am nocturnal,
I love the nighttime,
‘Cuz I’m an owl,
I swoop without a sound!

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