The Spice Tree: a scent scavenger hunt

spice treeThe Gist: Students try to find the spices planted in a natural area using their sense of smell. 

Time: 45-60 min

Learning Outcome:  I can identify smells that don’t belong. Continue reading


Introducing Sit Spots and Nature Journaling

winter iscomingLearning Intention: I can observe my natural surroundings

Inside (20 minutes)

Book:  Winter is Coming by Tony Johnston.  Illustrated by Nom LaMarche

Winter is Coming is an absolutely beautiful book.  It is a little long for Kindergarteners, especially in September.  I had to cut it short for one of the Kindergarten classes, but the other two K classes happily sat though it all.

I start off by asking students why they think I chose this book. We could have easily a more elaborate discussion, but there is so much to talk about in this book, that I want to move on. 

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On Connecting, Unschooling, and the Meaning of Life


I just finished reading Ben Hewitt’s Book, Home Grown: Adventures in parenting off the beaten path, unschooling, and reconnecting with the natural world. I’ll say right off the bat that it was one of the best books I’ve read in a while. Hewitt writes with enough eloquence that I could have read it in one sitting, which is saying something given my attention span. It is also refreshingly non-pretentious and preachy, which I loathe even if I am the choir, so to speak. If unschooling at all interests you,  I highly recommend it.

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Sitting Upside Down

There I was, in my favourite coffee shop, drinking coffee and reading a book like a proper  coffee shop cliché, when a man and two boys, around 4 years old wandered in.  I generally spend more time people watching than reading when I read at the coffee shop, so I half watched the boys excitedly announce what they wanted, clearly delighted by the treat.  A few minutes later, I glanced up from my book again and saw the man and 1 boy sitting in armchairs munching on their muffins. Continue reading