Today we made full use of National Outdoor Learning Day. Bright and early, we headed up to Dunskey Woods to take part in a range of learning activities across the curriculum.
Observational Zones – Maths & Science
First on the agenda was a combined maths and science challenge. The children used a metre stick to find a natural stick of equivalent length. We then used that stick as a measure to locate 3 more. We formed a metre square area with our sticks as boundary markers. We then observed the natural objects that were present in our study zone. There was a wide variety of items; from pine needles to leaves and larvae to beetles. The class created a tally chart of the objects they observed in each group zone. Finally, we used digital technology to present our data as a bar graph to interpret our results more readily.
Tower Building – Engineering
The next challenge was to see which group could build the tallest free standing tower using just sticks. There was a lot of discussion on how to tackle this problem. Some opted for a layered square tower, whilst other groups made use of a conical shape. The children quickly realised that balancing the sticks to a centre point gave the most height. They also concluded that they needed a key stick with a ‘Y’ shaped branch formation to help support the structure. Maya, Ava Lily, Tilly and Izzy were the winning team with a final height of an impressive 2.5 metres! This was even after their first tower of 2 metres got knocked down by accident. They rebuilt in super quick time, even taller than before. Well done on your resilience girls.
Mud Monsters – Art /Language (follow up task for tomorrow)
Everyone then moved on to create mud monsters. The children combined water and soil to create just the right consistency of mud to bind and adhere to tree trunks. They then used their inventiveness to imagine a monster character. They used foraged materials such as twigs, leaves, moss and pine needles to create the facial features for their monsters. You will see from the photos below that it is an interesting rogues gallery.
We made sure we had gloves for those who wanted to use them, water and wet wipes to wash our hands, and hand sanitiser to ensure we kept as clean as possible.
The follow up creative writing task will require the children to write a fact sheet to describe their mud monster character, its personality characteristics and what it likes to do. We will focus on the use of similes, alliteration and metaphors as figurative language tools.
Journey Sticks – HWB (nature appreciation/choice & personalisation)
After lunch, we chose to take a closer look at our everyday, familiar surroundings with a fresh focus. The children went on a forage hunt around the school playground, selecting appealing items that they found interesting. Each little treasure was tied carefully to a stick they had brought back from the woods to make a traditional Journey Stick. We talked about our objects and why we selected them. Further talking and listening skills will be used to describe our objects in more detail.
Throughout the day, the children demonstrated great interpersonal skills. They all cooperated, shared ideas and thinking and supported each other fully. They took care of their environment and made sure they left everything as they should. They were a pleasure to spend a grand day outdoors with.