Monday, June 1, 2009

Learning Curve

Today was the first day of environmental camp. I teach 8-12 year olds all about our excellent earth and our fabulous Florida ecosystems for six weeks every summer.

These are the best six weeks of my whole year!

This first camp started off particularly well - only five students, so I had lots of time to interact with each of them. They were smart, knowledgeable, kind, and eager to learn.

Pure bliss.

We discussed the elements of survival (air, water, food, shelter) and how to record data about wildlife in order to properly identify individuals (size, number of legs, body covering, activity, habitat, etc.) and all of the reasons WHY we want to "save the planet."

The best part, of course, was the time we spent outside. With little prompting from me, the kiddos were all over, finding damselflies and tadpoles and trumpet vine flowers and frogs and pill bugs and spiders and beetles and junebugs and all manner of wonderful things.

They turned over rocks, looked up at overhangs, poked at sap dripping out of the slash pines, and were absolutely psyched about it all.


Their sense of wonder is a lesson in itself. More than I could teach, but something I am all to happy to foster.

So, here's to the beginning of a new adventure. A few quotes from the kids to revive your own sense of wonder:

Question: Why do we need lots of different kind of animals?
Answer: To eat them. (I loved this one. It was so authentic!)

"Oh, look! There's a mushroom!" "And there's a bug on it, too!"

"I think it's an American crow, because it was all black and it had a skinny beak." (He was comparing the crow to the raven in the bird identification book to try to figure out what he saw. And he was right, he had observed a crow.)

There are tons more, but my teacher brain and toddler-mommy brain are both terrifically tired and I must take myself for a time out.

Contented sigh.

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