Heading into the Christmas Break, I wanted to do one last post to cover everything I have been up to lately.
At the beginning of the month on December 6th, I participated in my second nature walk with children from Baker Drive Elementary. The trip was really successful because I got to spend it with the same students from our last nature walk. I was able to learn more about my students and it enhanced our learning experience in the park. During this nature walk, the activity we did was a little more structured compared to last time, which helped keep my students on task and focussed. Our job was to identify plants in the park that matched the colours we were given on our paint chips. We tried to match the colours best we could. Posted below are some pictures of what we came up with!
These nature walks are a great learning experience. Through the activities we do, I am learning to view things from a simple perspective rather than a complicated one. In addition, I feel these nature excursions have added another component to my action project. I am helping extend the learning environment outside of our traditional classroom settings to help students be immersed in their learning. I really enjoy this experience, especially because I hope to become a teacher one day.
Project One With Nature:
After the initial challenges I faced trying to gather people to join project one with nature, I’ve had a total of 5 people join! With my new group, we scheduled our first nature walk, which was supposed to be last Tuesday, however, I ended up having to cancel the walk due to the rain, as my members were discouraged to go in this weather. Because we live in Vancouver, it tends to rain a lot, however, I want these nature walks to be enjoyable for my members because one of the main components of my action is providing people with the chance to relax by being immersed in nature. I did not want to force people to go out in the rain. Everyone would have been wet and cold by the end of the walk, and I don’t think our experience exploring the park and making observations would have been enjoyable because of this.
For these reasons, I decided to improvise on the day we were supposed to have the walk. I met with all my new group members, and I got them familiar with an app called “PlantNet.” This app allows you to upload or take pictures or plants like leaves, flowers, berries, mushrooms, etc. and it will tell you what type of plant it is. During our meeting, I had everyone download the app and I sent out some pictures of some previous plants I took on my nature walk with Mr. Cowie earlier this year. I tasked everyone with picking one picture and using the app to identify what plant it was. After that, we went around in a circle, sharing the plants we found, which lead to some discussions about their potential uses. I started to share a lot of my knowledge I have gained thanks to Mr. Cowie. For example, we talked about the 3 categories the use of a plant can fall under — food, medicine and technology. One girl identified the western red cedar tree using the app, which led us into a discussion about how cedar wood is a technology that is commonly used to build houses because of its ability to repel water.
In all, cancelling the nature walk worked out. Now that my group members are familiar with this app, on our next nature walk, we will be able to quickly identify unknown plants in Mundy Park as we walk the trails. Although last minute, I think my new group members thoroughly enjoyed this given they didn’t have to go out in the rain!
I have rescheduled our nature walk for after the break. In addition, I am planning to take one of my group members out specifically into Mundy Park to conduct some pond studies, because she has shown a great interest in doing this with me!
That’s all for now! Merry Christmas everyone and I look forward to coming back and continuing my action in the new year!!
Thanks for reading!
– Madison Ciulla