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WSCS Blog
The Beauty of Outdoor Education

On this beautiful brisk winter day, I gathered my 5th graders and we prepared to head outside for our outdoor education time. They prepared their science binders, grabbed a magnifying glass, their tarps to sit on, and put on their boots. We are ready for another outdoor adventure. The chatter began as we walked to the nature preserve.

There was definite excitement in the air! We took deep breaths because fresh air is the best, we made footprints in the mud, and walked by our friends. Once we reached the nature preserve I paused my 5th graders.

“Circle up,” I said over the noise -- and my students created a circle. Before we step into God’s creative classroom we must gather and pray to ask what He wants us to learn today. Our prayer was that God would give us eyes to see and ears to hear. God created all of nature for our enjoyment and pleasure so we ask for His eyes and ears.

Once we said “amen” they were off to their sit spots! Tarps were spread out, trees were climbed and peace settled over them. Their senses and observations skills kicked into high gear!

I walked around and encouraged them to listen, to look, to dig in the dirt and take notice of how this spot looks different from the fall.

I sat by each student and whispered, “What do you hear?

I hear the tree creaking.

What do you hear?

I hear the woodpecker.

What do you hear?

I hear the wind as it rustles the leaves.

What do you see?

I see a small worm crawling on this bark.

What do you see?

I see a slug that is squishy and slimy.

Do you want to know what I see? I see students who live a busy world shutting out the noise to hear the peace. I am learning to do the same and to join my students in this deliberate awareness of God speaking to us through His creation.

Do you want to know what I hear? I hear God. He told us that He makes winds His messenger. (Psalm 104:4)

We hold our outdoor ed program in such high value because it allows our children to experience the things of God outside the four walls of our classroom. It stirs up an awareness of life around them and the beauty of the seen and unseen.

“How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” Psalm 104:24

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