Learning through the 5 senses

On Friday, October 21st, the students set out into the woods to learn about trees through their five senses. It was the perfect day as it was the first day this year that it has actually felt like fall. The air was crisp, the leaves were beautiful, and I was so excited that a couple of the kids asked me if I had too much coffee that morning. We walked the trail from Grassy Creek Vineyard to Byrd’s Branch Campground to learn about different types of trees, specifically conifers. As a special treat, Mr. D and Mrs. Lori were joined by Rick Seipel, retired high school Environmental Science teacher (and Henry and Eli’s grandpa).

As we hiked along, leaves crunching under our feet, the students stopped along the way for mini-lessons about trees. Mr. Seipel taught them about different ways to identify trees and to use their detective skill to figure out why some trees had died. The afternoon was spent engaging all five of the children’s senses.

Sight: Mr. Seipel taught the students how to identify trees by looking at the leaves and bark.

Smell: We identified a cedar tree by smell.

Sound: We stopped and listened throughout our hike to the birds, the creek and various other sounds we could hear in the forest. At the point in the hike where we reached a beautiful stand of pine trees, we stopped for a little quiet meditation and mindful listening.

Touch: Sometimes, trees can be identified by touch. Which type of conifer is this? We’ll, let’s touch the needles? Are they soft or pokey? What does that tell us about the tree?

We even enjoyed “New Food Friday” on our trip by cracking and tasting hazelnuts.