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Celebrating nature’s classroom

Third grade classes were held entirely outdoors and integrated with nature during Earth Week.

Third grade classes were held entirely outdoors and integrated with nature during Earth Week.

May 4. For many schools, spring and Earth Week are celebrated with a few extra minutes outside and themed art project or writing assignment. This is far from the situation found over the last four weeks at Pioneer Springs Community School, where a nature focus encourages student interaction with nature on a daily basis. So what did these students do to celebrate nature at time when earth is springing forth from its winter slumber?

First-grade students studied the various habitats found around the school. Their study was celebrated with a Woodland Creatures Wax Museum, which parents, families and friends attended. Student portrayed their favorite woodland creatures in costume, placed themselves in the appropriate habitat, then shared what they’d learned as participants visited their exhibit.

Second graders presented a celebration of learning about the forest. Students began by singing an original song written about the deciduous forest layers, then demonstrated yoga moves to the song “Standing Like a Tree” while standing on tree stumps in the school’s forest amphitheater. Parents then participated in a nature scavenger hunt, where students shared what they had learned about different plants, animals and trees that inhabit the forest.

The third grade spent most of Earth Week outside. Tree stumps served as desks for math; hammocks by the pond became writing nooks. The students built a new compost bin and planted a garden.

Pioneer Springs is a holistic, nature-based public charter school cultivating a meaningful, lifelong connection to nature. Learn more about the school at its annual Toss ‘N’ Sauce fundraiser, a corn hole tournament and barbecue dinner with live music and fun scheduled for May 7. Go to www.PioneerSprings.org for more information.