Forest Friday/ Dalkey School Project

Session 4

Inspire/ Stimulus.

Senior Infants

We have been giving the class teachers to show slide shows and videos to excite the children during the weeks. This has really worked well as they come fired up with ideas.

This week they were shown a video of Jayson Fann who makes human sized nests.

They arrived with great excitement and talk about the human sized nests they would build.

It’s so interesting observing what is happening. A lot of my work now, is observing as the children are now so familiar with how the 2 1/2 hours are arranged and are making their own plans. I am also the time planner.

Journey to Base Camp


What has changed?Everyone noticed the change in the trees this week.

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Repetition and Extension


The children repeat and add on from each session. They immediately went to the beach tree to taste the leaves and looked for the ‘shamrock leaves’ wood sorrel to snack on as they climbed the hill. New discoveries were also made. They found flowers on a holly tree and a very black fly landed on Siofra. It was a St. Mark’s Fly as the adult usually appears around St.Mark’s day 25th April, so this guy was a bit late.

On the way up they were talking about the human sized nests they were going to build so they started to collect large branches. They had to work our how to fit through narrow spaces, how to keep themselves and each other safe as they did this.IMG_0651 copy

“Why is rotten wood so heavy.” I overheard Kate say. I asked “Why do you think Kate?” “Because there are so many animals in it.”

Tea Making

Pine Needle Tea



While the children had their break and tea we learnt the five voices of birds and listened to the birds around us to decide which of the voices they were using.



Five voices of birds

Companion calling (call and response rhythm between flocks, mates, families) – all ok – thumbs up

Alarm (wren loudly indignant, sticks tail up, or when birds mobbing an owl or cat it’s harsh and buzzy) – watch out

Male-to-male aggression (natures soap opera, get away from here, I’m the boss, other birds won’t be affected) – middle finger

Song (baseline, calm, peaceful, territorial, mating)– ring finger

Juvenile begging (baby bird asks for food) – wrapped around the little finger

Nest Building

The children decided to draw their plans. They worked in groups and pairs. This all happened seamlessly and was organised by themselves.



“So what do we want the nest to look like.” I heard Fionn ask Seb as they leaned over their paper.



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They gathered together to share their ideas and decide who would work together, how to begin the structure and what materials they needed.





It’s so interesting to observe. Children changed groups when they decided the other group’s nest looked better. Nobody had any problems with this. At various times children took breaks and recapped on things they made during other sessions, creatures, little homes, little nests.

When we finished off with a sit spot. They were so aware of the bird song.

Second Class



Last week we checked out white blossom as one of the children thought it might be Elder flower but it turned out to be Rowan. This week we found more white blossom. We tried the smell test. Yes, it was Elder beginning to flower, so we will be keeping an eye on it for the next few weeks.






Someone found a shark’s egg up at our base camp. There was great detective work from the children creating ideas on how it might have got there.

Second class also viewed the human sized nest building video. They got to work on their nests dividing themselves into two groups. One group started with a good structure using caves in the rocks so this really helped them the other group spent most of their time collecting large branches and didn’t get much structure built.They weren’t bothered about this – they had a good time. Creating a product is not important to any of them.

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Beautifully woven ‘Taser’








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