The final session for fourth and sixth.
The class made all the decisions today and my role was as a time keeper and observer. Continued den building was their choice.They chose the story of “The Boy Who could Understand Birds” to tell each other from memory. So here are the photos and quotes.
The chosen route up to the base camp.
They are nature detectives all the time. Using the camera and calling me over to record their ideas was part of the whole session.
“When you turn it upside down it is kind of purple. It’s like pieces of paper filed together- it’s soft. It’s greenish at the bottom. On the other side it’s brown.” “It’s edible for someone because there are teeth marks on it. I think it’s a dog.” “Well the teeth marks are really small, maybe they are from a squirrel.” ” The texture is very delicate. It feels like you could just break it.” “It smells like bleach.” “It’s a kind of mushroomy smell.”
“These are really tall plants with leaves like bananas coming out of them, some are yellow, some are brown and some orange.” “Half of them are crusty.” “I think they used to have flowers. They have seeds in them too.” “They’re taller than most people except my granddad. The leaves are very skinny and long.”
“It’s lichen. I think it’s a kind of moss because I’ve seen it in a fluffy form on a tree bark. It’s a nice green colour. I’ve tried to use it as a dye before. I think it works but you need quite a lot of it. We tried not to use too much water to make a strong dye. We put lichen and water in a pot on the stove for 20 minutes but it burnt. It’s an experiment to be tried again.”
“I photographed this gooey stuff. It’s in our den on a tree. What’s this tree called? A laurel. It’s on the laurel branch, which is bent so we can sit on it like a hammock and it’s my sit spot. It’s real gooey and it’s like clear slime. I think it might be off a snail.” “I saw some on my branch and it was kind of popping. Like air bubbles popping out.” “If you put your finger in it slowly it’s hard to get in but when you put it in fast it’s easy to get to the middle of it. It’s not sticky on your fingers.”
“I was using brambles in my den as barbed wire and I found this bramble root. It looks like a flower but it’s a root. These white things are the roots sticking out of the stalk. This part is pinkish and very pale white, maybe because it’s getting water or because it’s not getting sun.”
Can you see the children? It wasn’t easy as they were hidden in the undergrowth building dens.
In the Den
I was ordered to take this posed photograph of one group of den builders.
“Our mascot is a robin because he is always in our den.” “This is a tree that grew down, then across the ground and then shot up. It bounces up and down. It’s like a boat simulator, it’s like the rocking of the waves.”
‘The branch here is really good because it is my sit spot. It gives you a great view of the hill above. You can also see all around the base.”
“I’m the captain of the ship.”
“I don’t care I’m the captain of the enterprise.”
“ I was kind of absorbed in the wilderness because there was loads of grass and those circle plants and a fern. When I listened I could hear the sound moving across the trees. Then the sound was in front of me and it blew a lot and then dissolved – like when a wave breaks, it kind of dissolves in the sand and makes the sound like the sound of the trees. I really like doing Forest School because it was my first time.”
“I’m going to miss Forest School.”
“When I was in my sit spot this bird kept chirruping and chirruping. It was like he was having a conversation with something. He was number 1 of the 5 voices of birds – the happy one.”
“I noticed how the wind can get so rough and the leaves just fall off the trees.”
“I really heard the wind crashing against the trees really hard and you could see all the trees moving together.”
“I noticed how every week I feel like underneath me, under my sit spot got larger and larger and it made me notice more every week and I’m grateful for getting to do this and not having to go to school because learning is boring.”
Me – “ Are you learning here?”
“I’m learning new things here which are more exciting.”
Me – “What did you learn here?”
“How to make arrows, tying knots, fire jumping and it’s amazing that you can build random stuff with bits from the forest.”
“We learnt how to make wild teas.”
“I think it’s more fun than learning at school because you do more and you have a choice what to make and you use a lot of all the subjects when you are doing stuff and it’s really fun.”
Me – “What subjects did you learn here?”
“We learnt nature, art, and science, because throwing the arrows, getting the feathers and holding the rope thing when you let go is science.”
“Measuring – that’s maths!”
“ It is like a giant project because a few weeks in we were making games and you had to use your mind for that.”
“I think geography because I saw most things in a new perspective in the forest. By looking at the forest now I can see how you could build something out of like a bush or a rock.”
“I want you to show this to me when I’m in sixth class.”
“Yea, me too.”
Due to gale force wind warnings we had to cancel our time at Killiney Hill. We used the time to make memory base camps in cardboard and paper construction.
Classroom Based, Windy Day
Base Camp Memories.
Tearing, cutting, curling, scoring, folding, accordion pleats, cylinders, tabs, spools,fringing, spirals, scrunching, cutting multiple shapes, cutting symmetrical shapes, slotting, tabs.
The children worked in their Forest groups. Using paper construction they made their base camp.