Trekking Tuesdays

Division 9 Trekkers

Edith Cavell Elementary
  • Mixed Primary School Grades
Photo Essay (3–10 images)

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Trekking Tuesdays grew out of the idea that nature is a teacher-perhaps the best teacher. The students in Division 9 have been learning from, with, by and for nature since the beginning of September and continue to go on our weekly TREK sun, rain or snow. The hope is that by providing these connections and experiences in the natural world we will be fostering a love of nature and the skills needed to protect and preserve it.

Each week, we set out with our journals, a story and tea to discover what there is to learn from the natural world right on our doorstep. We explore our neighbourhood, the community garden, local parks and our school yard with the intention of being in the natural world and learning through the seasons.

Our TREK often involves learning from the trees that grow all around us. At the outset of the year, we learned to identify the trees that grow in our school yard and compared them to the trees that grow in the forested areas of Queen Elizabeth Park. In the forest, students learned teachings about sharing their gifts from Cedar and about caring for others from Douglas Fir. The forest is also the place we have come together as a class community as we explore how to trust each other on our adventures

With the change of season from summer to fall and fall to winter, students were able to see and appreciate the ways that trees provide for us: food, shelter, inspiration and umbrellas!

A key component of TREK is the importance of learning from stories and using nature to tell stories. We often use natural materials to tell original stories and to re-tell stories that have taught us a lesson. Some of best stories are the ones we find unexpectedly. We have been very lucky to happen upon neighbours in our community during our TREK who have told us stories about the places we live and how things have changed over time. The students were very surprised to learn that our favourite local park used to be a lake!

We end each TREK with our gratitude circle as way to show our appreciation for the gifts that nature gives us and to acknowledge our responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world.

While we can see the impact of Trekking Tuesdays immediately as students share the teachings they have received, the true measure of the success of this project will be how these children grow into adulthood as stewards and storytellers inspired by their time in the natural world.