Over the past two weeks students have participated in our annual spring pond study! Students have been excited to learn about life in the pond and to participate in hands-on discoveries during pond study! We always focus on gentle and respectful catch-and-release methods using nets and bins to ensure critters are safely returned to their home in the pond. This year students were ecstatic to find; three species of frogs, tadpoles, various nymphs, water beetles, water spiders, leeches, water worms, among hundreds of water insects. We also observed red-winged black birds, Canadian Geese, ducks, and swallows in their natural habitats in and around the pond. Dragon flies were a major focus as we saw evidence of their nymphs, shed layers, and emerging insects. We welcomed the dragon flies to eat the black flies and mosquitos who also made their debuts this week!
Students consolidated their learning through field studies by the pond, journal documentations, sketching, and identifying our discoveries. We read guide books and stories by the pond and some groups wrote spring poems. Water colour painting was also a favourite activity to illustrate our views of life in the pond.
Research on pond insects and animals will continue over the next few weeks. We will also add pond discoveries to our journey sticks, and complete a stream study to compare our discoveries in the different ecosystems. Energy systems and food chains have been a focus during pond study. This has been a shared focus for the different environments we have studied throughout our year at Forest School.
We have used much of the same equipment as was used during pond study to become 'Insect Detectives'. Students have enjoyed tracking down various insects, identifying them, and using natural materials to recreate these insects. We have used guide books and our story, Insect Detective' to learn more about bugs!
Planting in the garden has continued in stages over the past few weeks, and will continue into this week when we plant the seedling that students started inside during the cold weather.
Thank you to all for supporting our pond study with additional clothing, resources, and lifejackets! Pond study is always a highlight from one year to the next and a source of great excitement for students of all ages - including the teachers!