The Night Tree
Forest Friday Ks and Miss Janey’s primary groups teamed up for a combined lesson on a classic children’s story called “The Night Tree”, by Eve Bunting. Kindergartners learned about animal adaptations and created strands of Cheerios and cranberries for the animals who must adapt to the cold weather of the Natick Forest. They picked a tree and began decorating. Miss Janey’s groups learned about animals getting ready for winter and after reading the story, created seed bird feeders and cheerio strands. Both classes chose a tree in the backyard forest to decorate and we will end the lesson with tree decorating and hot cocoa!
“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty
Albert Einstein is most commonly recognized as the an exceedingly bright physicist who discovered the theory of relativity. It is a little known fact, however, that he viewed himself as a “philosopher” of science, deeply interested and concerned with preserving nature and the beauty of nature’s intrinsic complexities.
“I was thinking of this quote, mainly the part about “freeing ourselves” while watching the Kindergartners explore the forest this past Friday. We had completed a lesson indoors and were on our way down the path when I realized…. I don’t need to say anything about what we are observing. I just need to let go. This letting go, I believe, is that “freeing of ourselves” that Einstein talks about. Teaching children to love the outdoors and nature is not necessary because loving the outdoors, for most young children is as natural to them as walking, talking, breathing. The goal is for them to embrace the landscape that they are presented with and think critically, compassionately, humorously, seriously, joyfully.
After finishing up the group project one child asked, “Can I go check on something I made the last time I was here?” Once receiving her answer, she bounded off confidently in the direction of the lean-to we’ve been adding to for weeks. I watched her walk away, a few friends following behind, and thought, “This is it..This is freedom.” We are crafting it one forest visit at a time….”
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