Milbridge 5th Graders Design their Own Learning

by Hazel Stark
Co-Founder/Co-CEO/Naturalist Educator

My favorite part of Thursday Forays was learning about the different adaptations of animals in different seasons
— a 5th grade student

With ice still covering much of the forest floor in early April, Milbridge 5th-graders hunkered down onto the dry and warm “sit-upons” we always carry with us and reviewed their learning and experiences during Thursday Forays over the school year. They more than filled a chalkboard with their reflections on the educational games they played, the places they explored, the wildlife they saw, and the fun they’d had. (You can learn about what they experienced this year by clicking Fall Thursday Forays and Winter Thursday Forays.)

But then it was their turn to decide what spring would hold! Students each found a quiet spot to sit in the woods and they wrote questions and topics they wanted to learn about during Thursday Forays in the spring.

Thursday Forays is important because going outside playing and learning is good for you.
— a 5th grade student

I then took all their input and transformed it into the Thursday Forays 5th grade curriculum which covered topics including bird adaptations, domestic vs. wild animal adaptations, moose, salamander searching, plant differences, and a final celebratory full day hiking field trip. Student voice and choice always makes learning more fun and impactful!

I am grateful we got to do Thursday Forays every week.
— a 5th grade student

Thursday Forays in Milbridge during the 2018-19 school year have been entirely funded by the Cobscook Community Learning Center’s Transforming Rural Experience in Education (TREE) program, which you can learn about here.

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