Pine grove meeting activity.
Each group was given mixed materials of sticks, pine cones, string and pipe cleaners to make whatever they liked together.This session only lasts 5 – 10 minutes as all children gather in the morning.
The children noticed much more this week.On our way up to our camp they kept stopping and finding new things to explore.They found oak apples, acorns, a puffball (which we puffed) and pale ivy leaves, which we wondered why they weren’t dark green like the leaves around them.
David was so quiet up at the camp that a robin came right up to him. It was really exciting for all of us when we saw two red squirrels on the tree in our camp, then and one ran right passed us through the gap in the wall.
We collected bramble leaves on the way up and made bramble leaf tea.The children really enjoy making their own tea from the forest.
Having played a few games of Eagle Eye, and also having had free play and a bramble tea break with a snack, the children went on a walk to forage for materials to make little huts. We discussed materials that we would need. What would be good for structure,and what would they need to make it waterproof.
Foraging for materials in the woods
They found dead branches of an elder tree. These are great to work with because you can add other smaller branches as the elder has a soft pith in the centre and sticks can be shoved into it.
Here they are testing the waterproof quality of the huts by spraying them with water. They put their hands in as someone sprayed water on the roof.
“Yes, it’s dry”
Finishing with a ‘Sit spot’.Kacie noticed that the sun shining through the trees came and went on her face.
Ms. Dungan’s fourth class group.
We picked (literally) hundreds of blackberries and made some of them into tea and others in dye.
We played the drums using sticks and cut tree trunks. Where you hit the trunk and what stick you used made a difference.
We met a seven spotted ladybird who brought life to one of the dens.
We had a shop where I bought two sticks and was given change from my large rock (100 euro) of 1 large pine cone, 1 small pine cone, 2 medium rocks and a small rock.
We found loads of ways of making different colours using what was around us.
We had our sit spot in the sun.
We watched 2 beautiful grey crow swoop and fly in the gusty wind; so close we could see each feather and how they closed and opened their wings and used their legs.
(Sit spot) I noticed
– there were black burnt sticks around me
– I got stung by a thorn
– I saw a caterpillar
– I saw the reflection on the sea in the middle of it
– there was a massive rock that I really wanted to climb
– that it was really really sunny and I fell asleep
– that there had been a fire
– the birds flying through the wind
– there’s a path below us
– to having the sea so close to us
– for nature, the plants and the animals
– for life and finding a ladybird in our shelter
– for making a shelter and finally finding a bug that I like. I normally only like birds and bees but I like the ladybird.
– for the rocks
– finding a rock that was really nice
– for being up here instead of in the classroom
– finding sticks and using them to build a big shelter and using other things around us too
Tasting bramble leaf tea.
Jumping game, during free play time.
Sixth class looked at the bramble bushes.They’re not really bushes, all the individual stalks cross over each other creating a thick bush like shape.They observed the details.We set up a drawing and print workshop beside the bramble bushes.
They used black markers on large sheets of card to draw the stalks.There were a lot of leaves and some berries. I showed how they could make many leaves and berries by making print blocks by drawing into foam with biros. They cut out the shape of the foam and glued it to light card. With each block they could make multiplies of berries and leaves by inking up each block and printing it over and over again.
The finished work.
Ms. Dungan’s sixth class.
We hung out in the trees.
We balanced and jumped and had fun together.
We used brambles as our inspiration and used plants as our natural dyes. (elderberry, blackberry, plantain, fern, rotten wood, charcoal (burnt gorse), herb robert amongst others)
We observed and noticed things. e.g Some rotten wood makes a lovely brown/yellow charcoal effect. The lines on the bramble leaf go diagonal from the stalk.
I noticed during our sit spot:
– the tree I was sitting in had a really cool canopy and looked easy to climb
– that in different parts of my tree the wind was super strong and in other parts it wasn’t
– I had the pine needles in my hand and facing it towards the way the wind wasn’t blowing and it just flew and away and it was cool
– that there was a gap in the trees above my head and there was a bird flying back and forth
– that that tree over there has a strangely shaped branch
– that there are different levels in the twig
– that I kept on sliding down the tree trunk I was sitting on
– that there was a tree sheltering me from the wind
– that the rock was slippy and I almost fell into the brambles
– the birds singing
– one of the pine cones falling from one of the pine cone trees here
I’m grateful for:
– the blackberries and the food. I just love food
– all the trees especially the ones you can sit on
– the tree that sheltered me from the wind
– for being able to sit out on the rocks for lunch outside of base camp
– my coat!
– I found a really good hiding space for camouflage
– the view