Saturday, January 14, 2012

Environmental Awareness

Adding whimsy and decorative touches to one's garden is not an affordable concern to most members of our community. Recyclable goods are sometimes hard to come by because people have so little.  Our students come from very humble backgrounds but there is still a lot to learn from the little they have

We aim to teach our students to be intensely aware of their environment.  To do so, we have decided to use rubbish items to add whimsy to our Flood Garden.  The items will not only beautify our space but will also be used in lessons and in our learning stations

David got a hold of some tires today and when buried in the ground, they seem to resemble a swimming dragon. I can imagine that the students will soon name this "dragon" and it will also become a place to exercise their imagination.  They will be able to swim with and ride this dragon, sleigh it to save the princess or fly to  many adventures.

Dare to imagine a swimming dragon

We also want inorganic items in the garden to teach about what can and cannot be recycled.  It will be fun to watch the children bring rubbish that catches their eye to add as sculptures and accessories to the garden.  The entire neighborhood is a classroom now and we will have to make a treasure bag for each child to collect on class walks and on the walks to and from school.
There are a thousand teachable moments in a pile of trash...there is good trash, bad trash,   beautiful trash, "don't touch this ever again" trash, "put that in the compost pile" trash, "oh no, that is NOT trash" trash and more

David had this great idea to use empty bottles as sculpture pieces.  He found bottles of many colors. There are many lessons to be learned from glass, its components and uses. We would like to build a learning station around the bottles.  I would love to get ideas on the lessons we could create right using these bottles.

Learning from one's own environment is the only way to understand it enough to know if, when, what, why and how to change it.  Using the environment itself as a learning resource is a life long skill...

Here is a really cool idea from Learning Landscape for using recycled tires as a way to learn math through games.

When we get a bit more space, I would love to build the Learning Landscapes Math tire grid.  It really fits into our outdoor classroom learning model!!

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