The School-age children have been very interested in building forts. They build them all over with any materials they can find. On the June 3rd PD day we brought the children on a walk to the forest. There we collected branches and used them to build a fort. The children worked together breaking branches that were too big, finding a spot on the shelter where the different lengths of branches and sticks would fit well. They also experimented with different ideas, like tying the branches together so they would not fall.
While we were in the forest some of the children found snails. They were so excited to watch the snails come out of their shells and crawl around leaving slime trails. They also noticed that the snail's "eyes" would go into its head whenever they touched something. We talked about how that let the snail know when there was something in the way like using your hands to feel around when it is dark. When we were finished building our fort and observing the snails some of the children thought we should bring the snails with us to our classroom. As we talked about it, they began wondering if the snails might miss their home in the forest. So, we decided to leave the snails where they would have lots of crunchy leaves to eat.
What is next? We brought some branches with us back to the classroom so we can continue to explore physics and engineering through fort building and apply some of the new techniques we discovered while building our fort in the forest!