As a new Director in a new school, I knew that I wanted the children to have a curiosity for nature. But to lead the children to a place of discovery, they would need the opportunity to observe, play, and engage in elements of nature that would support hands-on activities both in the classroom and outside. When the opportunity came for me to build my own early childhood program, I knew that I had a unique opportunity to incorporate elements of nature in the design of the classroom. But I wanted nature to be local and the trees of our environment to become part of the children’s daily interactions and experiences. 2 Trees in Our City I saw so many possibilities to explore nature in our community; there were courtyards with grabble paths, shrubs, and grasses flanked by trees. There were trees around the perimeter of our school. Our windows faced east towards the Hudson River filling each classroom with the early morning rays of the sunrise. It became important to me that the native plants were visible from the classroom enabling inquiry and observation to occur naturally.
Trees in our city how a tree in a small patch of dirt inspired a classroom.
Occasional Paper Series,
Biodiversity Commons, Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Curriculum and Social Inquiry Commons, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Commons, Educational Methods Commons, Other Life Sciences Commons, Outdoor Education Commons