If I had to choose one word that sums up what we do at Audubon, it would be
We connect children to nature. We teach about the connections in nature. But also, we connect children to each other. We all live together on this planet. We share a place and a responsibility to each other. That’s what it means to be human, whether you are 5 or 50.
As I look at the pictures from our last two weeks, I see these connections so strongly. And as hard as it is to say farewell to children who will be moving on, I know we will always be connected to each other through this shared experience.
We’ve spent the past three weeks learning about birds. In addition to a person of the day, we introduced a Bird of the Day. We learned their calls, where they nest and what they eat. Knowing the most common birds adds strands to our human-nature web – suddenly the chirps, tweets and trills become not just pleasant background music, but old friends. “I heard tea kettle, tea kettle, tea kettle! It’s the Carolina Wren!” And the birds cooperated, with close-up encounters with pileated and downy woodpeckers, a wren nesting in the box on the Oaks play-yard, and of course the daily joy of watching our chicks grow up.
Learning to use binoculars with Nancy
Collecting nesting materials for nest bags
Bird boy connection
Painting and writing with quills
At Hilltop Home and on the Play-yard, the Oak’s cooperative play shows connections in action. Shared ideas, goals, stories, language, and skills. Constant negotiation, problem-solving and team-work.
“We need this branch for our project”
Improv in the woods
“I know! Let’s start an herb factory!”
Teamwork pulley project
Drawing and writing happen everywhere – they feel the power of putting their ideas down on paper, of making their mark.
Monsters and spiders, beware
Drawing dragons wherever they go…
Making Mother’s Day cards
“I’m making a Spanish bingo board.”
We made a list of our favorite places at Woodend, so we would be sure to visit them all in the last two weeks of school. Right at the top of the list is the Creekbed. The Oaks LOVE the water, and the rains were welcomed with whoops of joy. “It’s FLOWING!!! The creek is flowing!!!”
Testing their dam bridge
“Look how big the skunk cabbage got!!”
Water = Joy
They love the water so much, we headed to Rock Creek…If you find an island, you should build a bridge.
“It feels so refreshing!”
Connections – to each other and to nature. And stories to tell.
Birds we learned
Some books we read:
Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? by Rita Gray
The Seven Ravens by Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm
The Six Swans by Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm
Tasty Baby Belly Buttons by Judy Sierra
Rumplelstiltskin by Paul Zelinsky
And many other informational books about birds and too many other books to count : )
Songs we sang
The Playground Gate
I saw a (name of bird) at the playground gate
That (robin) was my playmate.
That (robin) said, “Cheerup, cheerily, chirrup, cheerily, cheerily, chirrup!”
Robin redbreast, crow flying round
Nuthatch hopping down the tree
Chickadee, dee, dee, dee, dee!!