Archives for posts with tag: sticks

Hi all!  Another great day with the Natural Patterns group of  1st – 3rd graders.  We talked about Earth Manners.  What is that you say?  Well the kids generated the following list after I read the story,  “Just a Dream” by Chris Van Allsburg.  About a boy who does not really care about the environment,  throws trash on the ground, doesn’t recycle and is just plain self involved.  It was a long story but this gang of kids were mesmerized by the boy’s adventure into dreamland…  not such a great dream of the future.  It’s worth a read and discussion.

So here is there list, written with the help of Emma:



I have to say I was very impressed.  Prior to the reading of the book each child prepared a leaf cutout by coloring their own design on it.   They attached strings to the leaves which will be tied to the  sticks they  collected . (Stay tuned for finished project in two weeks)

Today our hike was centered on finding one stick each for their earth manners piece.  Let’s just say it wasn’t easy to choose just one!!  We chatted about staying on the trail until we got to a great stick place where there was no poison ivy around.  The selection began.  It was fun to watch them wandering about trying to find a stick that was just right for their own project.  When it was time to head back I noticed that Emma and Rylie chose to take along a second large stick… actually it was a branch!!!  It was so funny watching them lug this with the intention of using it as our “class branch” (have to give Indigo the credit for naming it!) I love  when the kids bond together and make something for the “class.”  It means they are thinking of the group as a whole and are motivated to do something for their group.

It all comes from within them ~


Here they are with the “class stick”



Next class we will put the project all together, by painting the sticks from which we will  hang our leaves and manners.

I smile when I think of them.. eager kids just wanting to have fun.  It should be this way for all kids, at least for some of their day.. 🙂

Get them outside….  please



The last time we got together our class ventured into the woods to create a fort.  The idea was driven all by the kids and their desire to collect long branches.    We ran out of time last visit and only had a little luck.  I told them we could return on our next visit but to be aware that what they built might not be there when we return.  

Here was their first effort two weeks ago:



Yesterday while we were hiking in Brandon informed us that someone had knocked down their first effort.  That was predictable.  But I was happy to see that Brandon and his family had been out hiking and he checked on it.

I was met with an overwhelming YES when I asked if they wanted to return.  Motivation….. ahhh like a breath of fresh air!

Liam led the way and we were off, of course they gathered building materials as they went along.  It is so cool to see these kids get to do what they really want to  do.  It is the true essence of play and creativity, something there is a shortage of these days. 


When we arrived it took a little time for them to get organized.  When the branches ran out they went into the woods and pulled more.  I was impressed to see them all working hard to create their fort.  


Brandon breaking branches.


Running round like crazys!!


The beginning…..


Kathryn and Hazel working hard.

After about a half an hour of work they created a wonderful little structure.  Sophia said they needed some type of carpeting inside…. another suggested leaves for a soft floor.  If we had more time, Hazel had been busy collecting bark to side the outside.  But as usual our time ran out  so she hid the bark under a nearby tree.  They could have gone on for another hour.

Look at this baby!!! 



As we headed back to the barn Hazel and I were talking. We knew that  the fort might not be there when we returned.  I said to her it is like creating art, once you release it into the world it is no longer only yours.   I hope that others will come upon this and climb inside and add to it or just wonder about it…. 

Great job Hazel, Christopher (chief wood collector), Brandon, Kathryn, Liam, Sophia and Shannon!

Keep on building.