Here is the perspective of Katie Scanlon, Four Winds volunteer for Hanover Street School in Lebanon, NH:
When I’m learning these natural science lessons, I find myself saying I wonder, and then it just gets that ball rolling of wanting to be out in nature more, and exploring more.
I love telling the students, “I wonder?” I just finished my last Four Winds lesson, and we were all outside. It was a beautiful day, and we had just done Water. They were wrapping their heads around the concept that water is sticky.
I was saying, “I wonder what else we’re going to explore.” When I said that this is our last lesson of the year, they all were saying, “No!” so then I said “well, here’s your homework: to go out in nature and say ‘I wonder’ because something’s going to happen.” They were so excited about that. Four Winds doesn’t end when Mr. Kevin and I leave the schoolyard with you today, it continues!
I’ve taught from kindergarten up to fourth grade now. I remember one of the first years with kindergarten (and it’s kindergarten, so, it’s hysterical). We were doing Rotting Logs and some of the kids just wanted to get in there and touch and feel and some kids were like, “I don’t want to touch it.” But there was this one little girl and she was looking so intently but not touching it. We’re talking about decomposers and trying to understand what that means. She was just looking. You could see her mind moving and she didn’t want to touch it. She said, “Those guys have a big job so I don’t want to disrupt that.”
You could see her wheels turning, wanting to know. And again, that was a kindergartner! And you love that because it’s just that tip of the iceberg to get them asking those questions. Then when you go and you teach fourth grade and you’re doing that same type of lesson, they’re taking it to the next level. Well let’s talk about decomposers, what type of insects are these? It’s just so great to see that progression to that next question!