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Seedlings: The Outdoor Classroom

Recently we went for a walk in the pine grove with a group of Seedlings. As we walked along the path we noticed several signs of activity in the snow. There were a variety of different tracks; snowshoes, snow poles, boots, dog paw prints and cross country skis. A few children noticed the dog tracks and suggested that there could be bears.

The children were excited to see signs of squirrels. We could see tracks in the snow, but also empty pinecone cores. In the fresh snow we could see the evidence of pine cone seed husks around[if gte vml 1]><v:shape id="_x0000_s1026" style='position:absolute; margin-left:212pt;margin-top:137pt;width:188pt;height:141pt;z-index:251657728; mso-wrap-distance-left:12pt;mso-wrap-distance-top:12pt; mso-wrap-distance-right:12pt;mso-wrap-distance-bottom:12pt; mso-position-horizontal:absolute;mso-position-horizontal-relative:page; mso-position-vertical:absolute;mso-position-vertical-relative:page' coordsize="21600,21600" wrapcoords="-86 0 -86 21485 21600 21485 21600 0 -86 0" strokeweight="1pt"> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:\Users\PINEGC~1\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.jpg" o:title=""></v:imagedata> <w:wrap type="through" anchorx="page" anchory="page"></w:wrap> </v:shape><![endif][if !vml][endif] a rock or stump. There were several big trees stripped of bark and covered with holes. We could see that woodpeckers had been visiting these trees.

Looking up we could see wind in the trees and a few crows. Some children noticed the bright orange trail markers with arrows that hung on the trees. In the classroom we have been reading books about what happens to animals in the winter. We have also been singing a song about Hibernation at morning circles. Through stories and songs our young friends have been building an understanding of plants, animals and the changes of the seasons. In the stillness of the pine grove we found ourselves fascinated and inspired by nature.

“And into the forest I go,

to lose my mind and find my soul.”

-John Muir

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