In my neck of the woods Mother Nature has taken a turn — away from winter and towards the time when all of the life of the world is expressed outwardly. Buds are on the branches, children are asking to wear short sleeves and bare feet and we all feel that quickening of life within.
I am looking for new and exciting ways to bring the freshness of the world to my students and for inspiration I am looking to the natural world. Fortunately, there is much within the given curriculum that asks us to look at the natural world, but we don’t need to limit ourselves to the curriculum.
One of the things I am doing with my students, which is somewhat tangentially related to the Botany block we will take up at the end of the year, is beginning a worm bin.
I ordered 300 red wiggler worms and following the instructions in this book and elsewhere around the internet, we will begin a bin where we will compost our lunch scraps. I can’t wait to see it in action. Who knows? Maybe next year we will sell our compost as a fundraiser!
My son’s third grade class is adopting chicks, which, when they’re all feathered out and old enough, will come live at our house. We’re having fun preparing our yard and looking at plans for chicken coops. This Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens is a great resource. Check your library for other great guides to raising chickens.
Once we do finally begin our Botany block at the end of the year, I will be using the second half of Charles Kovacs’ Botany as my primary resource. I am also planning on including lots of hands-on activities. Steiner gave very strict indications that plants should be studied as a part of their environment, and that we should not pull them out and dissect them in an effort to understand them. I do, however, want for my students to watch plants as they grow. Together we will plant seeds in glass jars so we can watch their development. I look forward to finding many other hands-on activities to incorporate.
I can’t possibly write a post about springtime in the Waldorf school without mentioning this book. The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers is the classic tale of spring. No child under seven should let a springtime pass without reading this book at least once.
Spring is definitely a time to be out enjoying the natural world with children. These days I’m finding lots of curriculum inspiration when I step outside my front door.