Monday, March 6, 2017

SOLC17 - Seven of Thirty-One - Outside!

SOLC 7/31 - 
      I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community for Day Seven of Thirty-One of the Slice of Life Challenge in March.  Thank you, Stacey, Beth, Deb, Betsy, Lanny, Kathleen, Lisa, and Melanie.  

       "Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts."Rachel Carson
      When I taught, and at my school, one of the priorities of our curriculum was to get the students outside. I wrote about this last Wednesday when I shared the book Grand Canyon. It could be for an hour of reading, writing, or observation with our journals. It could be a day trip to the many wonders in the city or surrounding country or mountains, or it could be an overnight adventure into the wilderness. When Richard Louv's books were published (like Last Child In The Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder), all the staff celebrated. He wrote about what we've been living all along. Take the child OUTSIDE! 
       I don't have a class anymore, but I do have grandchildren! And I do get them outside.  Lately, I've had Ingrid, seven, for all Friday afternoon because her school is out at one on Fridays. 



       This latest very warm weather meant we headed to a nearby park with a pond and a stream. I walk there myself often, but this time, because of a little girl's wonder, we explored even more than I usually do. We looked under rocks, we explored what was possible when trying to walk across the stream on those rocks, and we watched the ducks and geese.
           I always take a bag with me to collect trash and we did that too, and one piece of trash was so, so interesting. I didn't take a picture. Sorry. We found a Starbucks bottle cap, picked it up, looked like it was full of dirt so I leaned down to wash it off. The dirt wiggled! As far as my research went, I think they were baby leeches, hatched and ready to cling and grow or to be a meal for something. This early in the season we didn't spot any fish, but had fun in the cattails, seeing the hidden "flat" spots where we imagined some animals slept at night. 

Pictures tell some of the tale. It was great fun exploring, being OUTSIDE!
The other end of the stream that flows into the pond.


Ingrid walking over the stones put there to cross.


Watching what might be in the water.

Traipsing through the cattails.

Cutting one cattail to take home to show the family.

40 comments:

  1. Linda, there is such joy in these pictures. A child outside noticing, wondering, and exploring life-how wonderful!

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    1. Thanks, Carol, it was a wonderful afternoon.

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  2. Cattails. Everything about them make me smile. So lucky to have the outside and a young person to explore with!

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    1. Yes, I am lucky, and cattails are so interesting even here at the end of their time. Thanks, Julieanne.

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  3. Love these pictures. Thank you for taking us along!

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    1. You're welcome, Carrie. A fun day!

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  4. Elements of a happy childhood is about - being outside, exploring, spending time with Granny.

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  5. "Get them outside!" YES!! I completely agree. What an important school priority and what a gift to spend this outside time with your grandchildren!

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    1. Being outside makes one feel so good, Michelle. Thanks!

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  6. Oh, that blue sky in your first picture is breathtaking! And "hidden flat spots" reminds me of the book All the Places to Love. Did you and Ingrid come back home to read that book? I can't wait for warmer weather to arrive in our part of the US. It's been a long, cold (for us), gray winter.

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    1. No, we didn't, but I have the book, will pull it out for this week! Among others, we read Bunny's Book Club. It was cold yesterday, but warming up again! We've had the strangest, warmest winter, wishing for rain or snow! Thanks, Ramona.

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  7. Beyond fantastic! A life full of wonder!

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  8. I couldn't agree more, being outside exploring is so important for kids. Sounds like you covered a lot of important topics; biology, sustainable practises, P.E, seasons...

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    1. I hadn't thought of it that way, but you're right about the topics! Ingrid seemed to know a lot about cattails, had explored them before with her father & at school. Thanks, Leah.

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  9. How lucky Ingrid is to have a grandmother who understands that the outside world has so much to offer and teach. So many wonderful places to explore and so much to learn.

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    1. Thanks, Bob, I'm sure we'll be going out again. There is a lot to explore, and I love it, too!

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  10. Ingrid is one very lucky kid to have you as her grandma/teacher.
    Bonnie

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie, and I'm lucky to have her, too!

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  11. Your post reminds me of the important work that Sylvia Earle and Jane Goodall (http://www.janegoodall.org/?portfolio=putting-hope-map ) have been doing. each speaks so well of what you discuss here: the absolute need (yes need) for our children to commune with nature. Being outdoors this last year has been healing for me. How true would this also be for the many children I work with who live in poverty in inner cities and are not allowed out do to danger. I took children outside one time and I learned that it was so novel that I scrapped the work we were going to do and had them play. They almost did not know how to.

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    1. I agree totally, Mary Ann. Jane Goodall held some group sessions here a long time ago & a couple of my students got to work with her. It was a marvelous experience for them. And then I hear that some of the children in our city, Denver, have never been to the mountains! It is a shame with all our surroundings that they only "see" instead of "explore". Thanks for your comment.

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  12. Yikes about the leeches! Those photographs are glorious - you had the perfect outside adventure day.

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    1. It was quite a surprise to see that dirt moving! Thanks, Tara, it was a fine day!

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  13. A delightful fresh air post! We began keeping our kids in when we were told it was too dangerous - people would steal your child and parents didn't have time to be with them outside all day. We ran loose and free as children. I think my parents hoped someone would take at least ONE of us! (Not really, of course!) but really, my mother did spend a bit of time outside teaching us the plants and birds and signs of weather!

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    1. I did not worry about that kidnapping, but I do know those that did. Glad you got to be outside with your mom! Thanks, Donna.

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  14. I love taking my class outside! Looks like you had some fun out there.

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    1. And I love hearing that you do, Lisa. I'm not sure everyone does. Sometimes it's the permission needed from the admin.

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  15. Something tells me Friday afternoon is the best part of your granddaughter's week - and yours, as well. What a lovely ritual, getting outside together.

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    1. Fridays are very nice with all that we do, and today I have the after school time with Imi, which often means going to the science & nature museum, another kind of nature learning. Thanks, Maureen.

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  16. You are showing your grandchildren an appreciation for nature and how to take care of her. The pictures make me want to romp around and play, too.

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    1. Their parents too are outdoors people, so they get a lot of it, and love it. Yes, it's fun for me, too. Thanks, Margaret.

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  17. Eek! Leeches! But what a joy to view the world through Ingrid's eyes and mind.

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    1. Yes, much fun, & these creatures stuck tight to the cap, so I am pretty sure they were baby leeches. I'm not sure I want to wade there this summer! Thanks, Elsie.

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  18. What a lovely afternoon! It looks like great fun! Love the pictures.

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    1. Thanks, Joanne. It was a good time, and we discovered more than expected which was even better.

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  19. What a beautiful day! I'm dreaming of a nature scape at school. I love these pictures, they serve as inspiration.

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    1. That would be awesome, Kendra. Best wishes to you and your school. Thanks for telling me.

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  20. So, so, so agree with you. Our kids need to be outside every day. Heck, I need to be outside every day! Wondering what park you are at. It looks like such a terrific place to learn and play!

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    1. You're right, Carol, I need that too! The park is the Lowry Great Lawn Park, straight east about half a mile down Lowry Blvd. It is a fun park, and there are many others, but this one has the pond and stream!

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