In this last post of the series about our bird learning unit, I want to share with you few photos from the school cabin reflecting the bird theme.
Last summer my own children and I visited a bird sanctuary outside Denver, and there we collected many pelican and goose feathers. I also had some blue jay feathers I found in my yard. On the last day of our bird learning block, each child got to choose 2 feathers to take home with them. This was a little reminiscent ofour final craft during our wolf unit in December, where each child got to make a memory jar with real wolf hair in it (the wolf hair was shedded hair generously shared with us by our friends at Colorado Wolf Adventures).
The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited. ~ Plutarch
In closing this series, I wanted to take a look at all that the children learned and accomplished. At the start of this learning block some children had knowledge and interest when it came to birds, while for others it was a relatively new subject. At the end of the few weeks of learning we can say with confidence that all of the children, even our youngest participants aging 2.5-3 years old, have significantly increased their interest and with that acquired new knowledge about birds. Most, if not all, of the children have discovered for themselves through stories, books and crafts many new species of birds.
Now while walking through the forest, the children easily spot nuthatches and chickadees. And some of the children have even learned how to imitate bird calls remarkably well.
But probably the most significant achievement for this learning block was increased appreciation for these wonderful creatures soaring through our skies. We believe that such appreciation and familiarity with the natural world makes each child’s life richer, more complete and it makes the world around them more fascinating. And that sparks an interest to learn and discover more. Only in the presence of such interest in learning itself does education have value to the child.