“If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil.”- Rachel Carson, conservationist
As part of HFP’s nature education, we invite a teacher from Talk About Trees to join us in our classroom each year:
- To encourage awareness and appreciation for the value of trees and forests in our daily lives; and
- To encourage an understanding about the protection, management and conservation of the renewable forest.
Our Family Share reminds children there are many kinds of fruit trees and prompts them consider a kind of tree fruit they like to eat. As children respond, they either write their idea or watch their parent or caregiver record their response. We offer pictorial and written cues to suppor each child’s understanding of our collective sharing. This is literacy development at its finest as children are personally invested in what’s being written.
In anticipation of the Talk About Trees presentation, we offer a few tree-themed sensory activities: chestnuts from the giant tree adjacent to the playschool fill the touch-table, and green play dough with tree and leaf cookie cutters are ready for rolling, pressing, and cutting.
At circle, Joan wheels in her giant suitcase and asks the class if they think she is going on a trip. She pulls out prop after prop of varying sized leaves, pine needles, and seedpods to share about trees. She invites the class to stand as trees and to send their roots deep into the earth so that they can withstand the wind. We use our arms as branches and take in the rain water and sun so we can grow.
After circle, Joan invites pairs of children to make paper using pulp, water and a sponge. Some children are initially hestitant to try this new activity. They get to be observers and decide if they’d like a turn after watching friends try the process. Each child presses the pulp through a strainer to create a unique piece of paper with needles and petals within it. They’re excited to take this handmade paper home.
We are excited to welcome Joan back once the foiliage returns to the trees surrounding our school. We will tour the grounds to learn more about how the abundant trees in our neighborhood keep our air clean and provde homes to so many critters.