Weekly Challenge for #EnviroEd # 78 “KindergartenBioBlitz, Seasons Changing Edition”
Spring is coming, spring is coming … seriously, no matter what that fortune-telling rodent in your neck of the woods says, it will be coming. But what if you don’t have “groundhogs” or “woodchucks” in your region? How do you tell how the seasons are changing?
Four years ago, in an effort to “extend the experience” of environmental education beyond the day trip we created the #kindergartenbioblitz. Although an insanely large hashtag, it is also an insanely collaborative venture into the realm of natural inquiry for early years teachers.
Although originally meant for teachers within my own Board, it quickly spread to other regions and is now a global phenomenon. Three times a year this week-long inquiry is offered and the February/March version is focussed on the fact that in many parts of the world the seasons are beginning to change. This edition of the ‘blitz will run from Monday, February 27 to Friday, March 3, 2017.
Each day of the week students are asked a different leading question to help start the investigations of their schoolyard communities. Here is a “story” on how to participate yourself if you have not to this point.
Melting ice, the first migrating species returning, or the maple sap being collected and starting to boil with the taste of syrup in the air. Depending on where you are, this time year means different things to different people.
And that’s one of the most powerful things about the #kindergartenbioblitz. It allows classes to not only participate and speak to naturalists about what they are seeing but more importantly ask each other questions about where they live.
When classes from Australia or Chile explain to those in North America that it is not spring where they live, or when classes in Singapore ask classes in other places what seasons even are like since they do not tend to experience them in the same ways it leads to all sorts of questions between students from around the world.
Locally, we attempt to tie in the Britannia Farm Sugar Bush into the venture to allow students world-wide to experience through video, stories, and daily updates what Ontario’s First Harvest of the year is all about and how it relates to early spring.
So introduce the concept to this year’s class. Set aside the dates (Monday, Feb 27-Friday March 3, 2017). Remember the hashtag #kindergartenbioblitz (some teachers will even begin the day by looking and responding to what other classes have already shared that week). Most important of all though, get ready to investigate, wonder and experience how the seasons change around the world!