During this time of social distancing, Bosque science teacher, Mr. Daly set an objective for himself: find ways to stay engaged with nature and the outdoors. This personal goal extended to finding ways to help his 7th grade students stay engaged with nature as well.
Going into the two-week spring break, Mr. Daly created an optional online field journal assignment for his students. He encouraged his students to get outside, whether that was going into their own backyard or walking to a nearby, natural space (keeping safety and social distancing in mind).
He suggested that students begin their time outdoors with 30 seconds of silence—just listening to what was going on around them with their eyes closed. He challenged students to observe their surroundings for at least 10 minutes each day over the next two weeks and record their observations. They could record through a photo, sketch, or painting of nature around them. Along with the visual recording, Mr. Daly had students record written observations of textures, sounds, locations, plants, odors, behaviors, and everything else there was to observe—except for taste. Students were encouraged to explore different ways of recording their observations, from writing a haiku to a story. The students’ observations were added to a class slideshow deck, so everyone could see what their fellow classmates were observing.
Over four days of observation, Mason ‘25 heard chickens yelling, a trash truck going by, people talking, and birds chirping; he also watched the tree in his backyard begin to turn green.
Clara ‘25 added a photo of a tiny green sprout and pondered what it could be—perhaps a weed? Or maybe a beet?
Kate ‘25 sketched a bison that she saw and wrote this poem:
On my bicycle
Today observing scenery
I look beyond shrubs
I saw a group of bison
Spread out in the grassland
Maddie ‘25 observed a tree blossoming in her backyard and wrote a poem of her own.
Swaying in the breeze
Are leaves of purple trees and
The smell of flowers.
Flowers strong and sweet
Flutter in the soft spring breeze
Best leave or I’ll freeze.
What a great way to get outside and appreciate nature!