Orchard Preschool Students Capture Awesome Footage During A Science Exploration In Our Woods

Preschool students have been utilizing our 43-acre wooded campus to integrate technology, math, identity discovery, science, and much more. Earlier in the school year, one classroom set up a scent station to begin studying the wildlife in the area. Read more from a teacher and see pictures below of what they captured on their trail camera!

"The idea to explore animal diversity and tracking in our Orchard Woods came from The Nature of Teaching workshop at Purdue University in the summer of 2018. This type of study is a natural connection to the identity study in the Multiage Preschool program. Our young students are developing their observation skills and ability to describe similarities and differences in the world around them. 
 
This fall and winter, children have been learning how to identify animals by their tracks. By closely examining the tracks, children can discover the direction an animal was moving, how fast it was moving, and whether it was alone or with other animals. They’re also learning that different animals can be found in different habitats. 
 
The Jackson/Philpott students helped to create a scent station in the Wildwoods section of Orchard’s 43-acre wooded campus to identify the wildlife that lives in that area. 
 
Students first cleared the area of extra sticks to reveal smoother ground. They then helped spread a circle of sand, in hopes of tracking wildlife prints.  Teachers placed a wildlife lure vial in the middle of the circle, and a trail camera on a nearby tree.  We have been regularly visiting and refreshing the station in recent weeks, and have identified squirrel tracks and evidence of rain drops. 
 
Luckily, the trail camera also captured images of deer visiting the area over winter break and since we’ve returned to school. Students are continually excited to find animal tracks in other environments too, such as during field trips to local parks. We hope to add another scent station in a different location in the Orchard woods in the coming weeks."

Melissa Jackson | Multiage Preschool Teacher 

Progressive education tenet: Beyond traditional educational practices, knowledge is constructed through play, social interaction and direct experience, and this approach leads to academic achievement and success
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    • Each student has a sitting spot where they observe the environment around them. They keep track of any changes they notice.

      Each student has a sitting spot where they observe the environment around them. They keep track of any changes they notice.

    • Building the scent station.

      Building the scent station.

    • The joy of discovery! Students see evidence of animals in the area.

      The joy of discovery! Students see evidence of animals in the area.

    • No tracks on this day, but there were marks. After a long discussion, one student said, "The raindrops!"

      No tracks on this day, but there were marks. After a long discussion, one student said, "The raindrops!"

    • Time to check the trail camera...

      Time to check the trail camera...

    • DEER!!!

      DEER!!!

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