There's something magical about writing outside and, happily, last Monday was absolutely perfect for that. We gathered up our writing supplies and headed out to look for signs of spring.
Not only was it our first day back from Spring Break and we needed to get some wiggles out, but it was a glorious day. I think the temperature was probably 15 or 16 C so nobody, including me, bothered with their coats. We're back to our typically cool spring weather again, but that's how it goes on the northwest coast.
We're very fortunate that our school is virtually across the street from a man-made pond. There's a gravel path that goes all the way around, complete with a little wooden bridge.
After recess we grabbed our clipboards and felts and headed down to the pond for some outdoor spring writing.
The kids were instructed to keep the chatter at a low level so that we could not only see signs of spring, but also hear them! I have to admit that was a little bit challenging, but we did manage to stay completely silent for maybe 60 seconds while we listened to the birds chirp and the mason bees hum (at least I'm pretty sure that's what they were).
Surprisingly, some of my kids weren't sure of the difference between dandelions and daffodils so it was perfect when we came across a cluster of both!
They loved walking around with their clipboards. I think it made them feel very official. The reason I had them bring felts instead of pencils is because they're bigger and easier to hang on to, but also because I didn't want my little perfectionists erasing everything.
I asked the kids to be careful observers (listen, look, smell, touch) and to record all the signs of spring they noticed. They could write, draw pictures, or do a combination of both.
Once we returned to the classroom I had them write a simple "Hello Spring" poem. Before they began we shared all their observations and I wrote them on the board.
I also wrote my own "Hello Spring" poem so they'd know exactly what to do.
Everyone was successful and found the exercise enjoyable and stress-free!