For five weeks, Jonesport Elementary School students in grades 4 and 5 have been getting outside this fall for at least one hour per week during our “Forest Friday” program series. Due in large part to our partnership with Cobscook Community Learning Center’s Transforming Rural Experience in Education (TREE) program, which helps weave student voice into the academic goals of the classroom, even more Jonesport students will have a chance to get outside during Forest Fridays as the academic year goes on.
Maine Outdoor School and Mano en Mano led a free, bilingual 4-day program series on weekends in May and June 2018 focused on learning about the importance of diversity in nature and in human communities with funding from the Maine Community Foundation. Through this program series, students not only learned about how diversity yields natural and human resilience while valuing their own differences, but also were exposed to a variety of local hiking trails and preserves that they can visit with their families and friends.
In collaboration with Cobscook Community Learning Center and the Downeast Spring Birding Festival, Maine Outdoor School was able to provide two free programs for the 5th and 6th-graders from Pembroke Elementary School in May 2018. In an effort to get Cobscook Bay area students engaged in the diversity of birds that migrate through the area this time of year, the programs were designed to complement the Birding Festival, which people attend from around the country.
As the days grew longer, albeit colder and snowier, a group of “Forest Detectives” at Cave Hill School sought to learn how our outdoor neighbors survive the Maine winter during our 8-week after school series there from January through March.
While some mammals of the Maine woods spend their winters hibernating in a warm den, 25 of Ella Lewis School’s intrepid 3rd-6th grade after school students did just the opposite this winter. As long as school wasn’t cancelled due to one of our many Nor’Easters this year, no amount of ice and snow could keep these kids inside as they unceasingly pursued an answer to winter’s persistent question: How do animals survive despite the frigid temperatures and scarce food?
The sun sets rapidly Downeast in the winter—especially after school. In the waning light, snow, and cold, an intrepid group of 4th-6th graders at the Peninsula School explored the forests around the school for ways that they could give back to their community.
Starting in early November 2017, a hardy group of Mountain View Elementary School students became “Forest Detectives” during an 8-part Maine Outdoor School after school series. For an hour each week, students have been exploring, learning, playing, and nature journaling about the forest lives around their school as afternoon daylight diminished.
While it had been just three months since these students at Milbridge Elementary experienced a Maine Outdoor School program (to learn about that day, check out the article about it here), their schoolyard sure had changed. No longer wearing winter boots, hats, and mittens, these 5th-graders were prepared with shorts and t-shirts during this early June 2017 program.
What is the coolest cloud you’ve ever seen? “I saw one that looked like a bird! I saw a huge one! I saw one that was pink!” The 3rd and 4th-graders at Harrington Elementary were getting ready to dive into the world of the Water Cycle in two recent programs with Maine Outdoor School in May 2017.
As the sun’s warmth finally started to make itself known after a cold and wet spring, the Pre-K and Kindergarten students at Harrington Elementary School had a chance to learn outside with Maine Outdoor School during two consecutive Friday programs in May 2017.
What state of matter does ice belong in? This question was the first challenge these 3rd and 4th-grade students had during their Maine Outdoor School program at D.W. Merritt School in early May 2017. “Liquid!” was the quickest guess, but then they got thinking and exchanged some skeptical looks.
As red maple tree flowers began to fall from their leafless branches on a cloudy day in early May 2017, all students at D.W. Merritt School in Addison, ME got to learn outside during a series of Maine Outdoor School programs. This article is the first of a three-part series on our programs at D.W. Merritt--check out our article on the 3rd and 4th-graders' water explorations here and the 5th and 6th-graders' rock explorations here!
In the overcast calm before a short snowstorm in early March, Milbridge Elementary 5th and 6th-graders joined Maine Outdoor School to consider: how can we all, nonhuman life included, meet our similar needs? To answer this question, they focused on the world of birds.