Inspired Inquiry in the Land: Through a Reggio Lens
Donna Indrakumaran & Karen Samson, Dufferin Peel District Catholic School Board
Participants will engage in hands-on proposals/invitations to create theories about dandelions & trees based on a bioblitz on trees and inquiry on dandelions from a Kindergarten classroom from the 2018-2019 school year. Participants will use clay, watercolour, and wire to make their thinking visible about trees and dandelions. A knowledge building circle about the Documentation collected will open and close the workshop. Documentation from the classroom will be shared.
Creating Magic for 2SLGBTQ+ Youth in Outdoor Education
Olivia Fogel, Ten Oaks Project
Ten Oaks Project has been providing camping and community programs for children, youth, and families from 2SLGBTQ+ communities for 15 years. We are happy to share some of our learning about creating magical spaces for these communities, and support other camps to remove barriers to safety and participation in an outdoor education or camping environment. This workshop will include some information, story telling, and discussion based activities. Participants will take away tangible strategies for strengthening their own programs to be inclusive and celebratory of 2SLGBTQ+ identities.
Walt Sepic, Firefly Adventures Inc.
Fire has brought people together for millennia. The social/psychological benefits of sharing this primal, survival tool are many. We’ll share the science of fire starting and maintenance and practice different ways to start one including the challenging bow drill as well as various ‘new’ techniques using steel wool, hand sanitizer, vaseline, cotton balls, dryer lint and others. We will problem solve rainy weather fire starting as well. Please bring appropriate clothing for outdoors and the weather conditions as well as a knife and any equipment you have found useful for this activity.
Beyond Beans in Cups: Connecting Schools, Camps and Community Gardening
Ross McIntyre & Emily Wilson, Camp Couchiching
Camp Couchiching has actively integrated community gardening into their local year-round programs since 2012. Find out how to get gardens into schools, support existing local community gardens, and how to connect with youth through this perfect form of outdoor, experiential education. This workshop is discussion based with activities highlighting the stages of how to develop, implement and refine gardening with youth.
Imitation & Outdoor Learning
Zabe MacEachren, Queen’s University
We have all have heard that a picture is worth a 1000 words, but what about if we actually got to be in the picture and imitate what was going on in it? With the promotion of free play and the inquiry method of learning, it is easy to think outdoor educators just stand around with their hands in their pockets occasionally providing an encouraging word or provocative question. Children beginning imitating others within minutes of being born–imitation is hardwired into the way we learn best. This workshop will explore the fundamental experiences role modelled in our past in outdoor settings, and deconstruct the ways they best provoke learning by allowing others to imitate your actions.
Outdoor Ed And My Desi Self
Rashmee Karnad-Jani, YRDSB/OISE, U of T
Since coming to Ontario in 2002, I have learned about the outdoors, the plants and animals in my adopted home thereby taking forward my love of the outdoors. While asking daily whose Traditional Lands am I on, I am struck by the subliminal ideological understanding that enjoying the outdoors is a “Canadian” pass-time. This session will bring to light experiences and everyday conversations around outdoor education in the context of the GTA, one of the most diverse regions of Ontario and Canada. *The term “Desi” is a term that means compatriot and one that “South Asian” peoples often use to name ourselves).
Reconnecting using subsistence living activities in the kindergarten
Jørgen Nerland, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
What happens when preschool children are participating in subsistence living activities within the context of pedagogical friluftsliv? An in depth presentation of theoretical background, results and reflections related to a quasi-experimental study carried out in western Norway. A group of 12 preschool children were taken out of their everyday life in kindergarten in order to participate in traditional (rural) friluftsliv related to subsistence living activities like fishing, gathering and hunting. The results of the experiment show a significant increase in experience based knowledge about nature compared to a reference group. And then there are all the things that can’t be measured…
Critical Thinking in Controversial Times: What is our Role as Environmental Educators?
Tobin Day, Bluewater DSB
As teachers, we are instructed not to tell our students what to think, but rather help them learn how to think. In a highly charged and political climate, how possible is it to stay neutral regarding the climate crisis, cuts to schools and other controversial topics? How neutral should we stay given the significant need for social and economic change, to prevent worst-case scenario climate change? How do we talk to students and their families about the longevity of outdoor education programs knowing that programs are at risk of being cut? What should we do if our students walk out for Fridays for Future protests? Come see recent examples of these questions in action. Please bring your own experiences and examples for discussion.
Fostering Environmental Connection Through the Body
Cassandra Witteman, Lakehead University
In this experiential workshop, participants will be guided through exercises designed to foster physical and emotional engagement with the natural environment. Through an inter-disciplinary approach, participants will use their bodies as conduits for environmental communication, becoming situated as natural subjects engaging in embodied activity in conjunction with the natural world and its inhabitants. This introduction to movement-based modalities will give educators a launching off point to embed embodied practices within their own teachings. Exercises ranging from contemplative practice, dance, theatre, and spiritual pedagogy will be wielded in order to give participants a basic conceptual grounding in the use of body-based praxis. There will be time for independent reflection. It is suggested that participants wear comfortable clothing and bring notebooks and writing implements.
Inspired by Nature: A Songwriting Workshop for Everyone
Liz Bonisteel, District School Board Niagara
The beauty of the natural world has long inspired the Creative Arts. Given the opportunity to engage with the beauty of the world around them, our students will find their own songwriter’s voice as Liz Bonisteel has discovered in her classroom, encouraging students to write and share their musical thoughts. Whether a musician with previous songwriting experience or new to the activity, spend time connecting with others, tapping into your own creativity as we take in the beauty that surrounds us as well as the beauty found in the words of Children’s Literature. Take your experience from this session back to your classroom and begin to imagine what creative opportunities you can give your students in response to the books they read and the world around them.
And much, much more!