Hey everyone! Hope you are all well social distancing and staying at home! This is my third action post for the second cycle of my action. Due to the current pandemic, my action has been slightly tweaked, but I will still be carrying along with everything I had planned originally, just in a slightly different manner which I will explain to you all in this post!
1.) Where are you with your action? (e.g. what involvement have you had so far? Describe with examples)
As you may or may not know, my original action included continuing my nature walks at school, exploring Mundy Park each month with Baker Drive Elementary students, and visiting Bake Drive Elementary to present a lesson on animal habitats to Mrs. Lederer’s class. During Spring break, I had actually started planning my lesson and creating an animal habitat activity game, but once the news was reported that schools were going to be closed after spring break I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to present it.
Once we returned to “online” school, I spoke to Ms. Stuart and we came up with a new plan to continue my action which is going to include multiple components.
Here is a basic outline of what I’m doing:
1. Continuing to do nature walks with my family!
The one positive aspect about staying home right now is that my family and I are ALWAYS home, and so, we go out for a 30-40 minute walk every night. Especially with the weather being super nice lately, we have started to explore more of my neighbourhood. I live in front of a ravine and down the street we have Montgomery Middle. In behind the school there are some really nice trails through the forest which we have been able to enjoy the past couple of weeks.
I’ve found this to be a great alternative to the nature walks I was doing with Baker Drive Elementary before the pandemic. I’ve been able to get my whole family involved in connecting and interacting with nature. My mom is especially engaged and has been snapping some amazing photos of spring flowers.
2. Connecting with the Community on Instagram
Lots of us have been much more involved with technology lately because of the pandemic. This gave me the idea to connect with friends and students through social media and encourage people to get outside and explore a bit. Now more than ever we need to find ways to stay occupied while being at home. I have posted a challenge for students and the community on my Instagram page @projectonewithnature where people can send me photos they take on their own nature walks and I will run a small competition for “best photo.” In fact, I encourage all of you to take part! If you are going for walks with your family, snap a quick few photos of plants or anything really that stands out to you.
This is actually an idea I came up with while lying in bed last night (lol!), so I am just trying it out for fun through my action project and seeing where it takes me! I will update you all on where it’s at next post!
3. Creating an activity for Baker Drive Elementary Students Virtually
So, as you all know, I had the plan of visiting Baker Drive after Spring break to give a science-based lesson to Mrs. Lederer’s class and lead an activity. Unfortunately, this has been put on hold, but I have come up with an alternative lesson/activity for Mrs. Lederer’s class to do.
I am currently creating a mini activity the students can do from home to be able to connect with nature. My plan is to create a short video of me introducing the activity, as well as demonstrating what I would like the children to do. Then, I will share this video out to the students.
Before Spring break, the last nature walk I had with Baker Drive had the theme of “signs of spring.” So, now that spring is in full swing, my hope is to have students snap a picture of any sort of leaf, tree, flower, branch, or any piece of nature close to them at their house. This could be something they find in their backyard, street, front yard, balcony etc. With their picture, I am going to get them to record simple observations of what they see in their picture, and what they feel if they are able to touch it. Then, I was thinking they could also try and draw the plant/flower they took a picture of.
Recently, my mom took some photos on our family walks that I am going to use for my video. I am going to pick one of the pictures down below and do an example for the class by taking some observations, and drawing a picture so that the students have an idea of what to do!
The first Friday of every month we would embark on our nature walks, so I am hoping that this activity could replace that maybe! Right now is a great time to connect with nature, especially with social distancing keeping us all quarantined in our homes.
My hope is to have my full video/instructions sheet fully edited and ready to send out by the time of my next post so that I can share my video with all of you!
4. A little bit of Research!
So, the last thing I am doing is a little bit of my own independent research to help enhance my action project and provide a little more background knowledge for myself and others. Next post I will be researching one of the following questions:
- How is interacting with nature good for your mental health?
- What are the benefits?
- What are the best ways to connect with nature?
2.) What are some successes that you have had? Provide specific examples.
The main success I’ve had recently, is that I reached out to Mrs. Lederer and she is fully on board with my plan to create some activities for her class. I was thinking in total, from now until the end of the year, I plan to create 3 activities for her class. The first one will be sent out at the beginning of May, then one at the start of June, and then maybe one more if time permits!
3.) What are some challenges that you have faced? Have you been able to overcome them? If so, how? Provide specific examples. If not, can you problem-solve some ideas that might work for next time or if a similar situation arises? Again, provide specific examples.
The main challenge I am facing at the moment is figuring out how to get my video out to Mrs. Lederer’s class. I have a feeling the video file will be too big to email, so I am going to touch base with Mrs. Lederer and discuss some other possible options like uploading it to Microsoft Streams and sharing a link, or some other file sharing service.
4.) What are you doing next and why?
My next post will include the following:
- My first bit of research on one of the topics I listed up top. This will help me gain a little more knowledge which I can help share to others.
- My activity and video lesson I will be sharing with Baker Drive. This will help get students out of the house and exploring a bit while still maintaining social distancing from others.
- Updates on my family nature walks, and my Instagram nature challenge! (hopefully I can share some pictures of what other people are seeing on their nature walks!) Again, the purpose of my Instagram challenge is to encourage people to get outside, explore, and just enjoy the beautiful sunshine!
Well, that’s all for now! Thank you for reading, and I hope you all continue to stay safe and healthy!
– Madison Ciulla