Neighbourhood two continues to develop themselves as explorers of the world. We draw on a wide range of skills to help us gather knowledge and share our findings. Exploration of the natural environment allows us to observe, notice and respond to the environment around us.
As educators, we look towards experts to help deepen children’s understanding of the natural world – taking their ideas from the everyday to the scientific.
Recently, we had the chance to expand our field of exploration and head to Royal Park and participate in the Urban Ranger Program, where the children had the opportunity to venture through Melbourne’s wetlands and uncover the amazing secrets of the animals that live in the inner city parks and gardens.
We looked at beetles and bugs, identifying terrestrial macroinvertebrates. We studied the physical attributes of birds and identified how these link directly with the foods they eat and the habitats they live in. We examined the key characteristics of marsupials, placental mammals and monotremes. And importantly, the rangers discussed with the children the impact the urban environment has had on the animals that live in the area.
To end the day, the children had the opportunity to stop and literally sit in nature and participate in nature journaling. They closely examined bark, bugs and insects and drew what they discovered and observed. This was a particularly special part of the day where the children’s instinctive connection to nature was evident to us all.
We look forward to bringing this amazing experience of connecting the children to nature back into the neighbourhood to fuel our ongoing inquiry into nature, exploration and the urban environment.