Posted by: jwhiff | January 13, 2013

Forest Inquiry: Investigating the Wall of Dirt

It was a bit of a rough week back.  The children were very tired by the end of the week…I was as well.  It’s funny how difficult it is to adjust to school after a two week break!

I was almost not going to go on my Friday adventure walk, but the weather forecast was so good that I decided to organize it at the last minute.  We simply walked to the forest bordering our school and went to check out the “wall of dirt” that my children discovered way back on our first walk.  I love the term “wall of dirt”…it was coined by one of my observant K’s and always makes me remember to think of the world the way that a young child might.

I am so glad we went.  This investigation immediately injected positive, wonder-filled energy into all of our tired minds.  We looked carefully at the wall, noticing it was also full of big rocks and sticks that many of my K’s were certain were either roots or branches.  Why would roots be sticking up?  We also clambered through the brush and discovered that a large tree trunk was sticking into the wall of dirt.  Why?

We were lucky to find a second wall of dirt, also with a tree trunk sticking out of it.  The K’s also noticed the tree trunks were covered with different kinds of fungi.

It was a very productive adventure walk.  This next week, we will take a close look at roots to see if we can discover what they help the tree do and why they were part of the wall of dirt.  Plus, there is the whole question of what could have happened to the tree.

Final thoughts:  I am so glad that I did not simply tell them what it was.  It is easy to get into the nature tour guide mind-set when you are a teacher.  I am working really hard at not spoiling the fun and giving away answers before the children have had a chance to wonder, question and discover.  My next post will be about this as well.  I led another great investigation involving yeast…but I’ll leave that for next time!

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