Last week I did a “sit spot,” which is a Core Routine from our Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature model. As I was sitting and watching/waiting for nature, a few boys came and asked me what I was looking for…
G: I’m looking at nature.
Frog 1: Well, I want to look.
Frog 2: What are we looking at?
G: Let’s wait and see.
Frog 3: I see vultures.
G: I see them too. What are they doing?
Frog 1: I see a stick. Can I have it?
Frog 2: I want the stick.
Frog 3: Get the stick, Ms. Gail! Please!!!!!
(Desperation sets in for the stick wink emoticon )
G: Is this what you all see?
(I go and get the stick and bring it back to the group)
Frog 1: It looks like a knife.
Frog 2: It looks like a shovel.
G: What else can it be?
Frog 3: I think it’s a walkie-talkie.
G: If I give it to you (Frog 3), what will you do?
Frog 3: I will call other Frogs and we will talk and then play and form a plan.
G: (Gives stick to Frog 3) Sounds great, Frogs! Thanks for enjoying a sit spot with me.
I observed the play for another 15 minutes to see the value and effectiveness of the sit spot…
Each boy took turns with the walkie-talkie and began noticing the vultures that were present in the trees toward the Tadpole Yard. They began speculating on why some vultures were in one tree and others were starting to fly. Two other children joined the conversation and discussed vulture food, how they hunt, and why they need nests.
This all began because we sat and waited… and because there was no agenda on “how” or “what” the sit spot represented. It was also adjusted to be a bit more age-appropriate than what a sit spot could be for an older child or of course, for an adult. (Silence wasn’t a primary goal wink emoticon )
One single sit spot resulted in a total of 20 minutes of unique, diverse, nature-based, gender neutral, highly engaging, critical-thinking, socially connected, emotionally aware, and enjoyable LEARNING…
It begins with us, as the model. Nature is so capable of leading the rest.
Much love, School Family
P.S. If I had more time, I would talk about how the Tadpoles helped it “rain flowers” by safely climbing low branches on the bushes. #FrogPondKids#NatureBasedEducation #MudIsAToy #TreesAreCurriculum
(Gail, Executive Director)