Summer 2012 – Week 8 – Tremendous Trees and Photography!

We saw a lot of wildlife this week, as seen in the photos above – many of which were taken by the kids themselves!  Great stuff!  Thanks to Alexandra for the commentary below about the week!

Monday:

We decided to leave early in order to get to the mountains before the rain came. We drove to Big Tesuque and had time to play in the river and climb up the side of the mountain before the rain started to fall. We got back to the van to escape the early storm. In the van we learned the “Tree Song.” We drove down the mountain to a shelter to have lunch and went to another spot in the woods to play games. We played camera tag, meet a tree, collected materials to make picture frames, played statue and sculpture, two truths and a lie, and a water drinking game. Then we headed back to the children’s museum to make our picture frames. We reflected on what we loved and what we learned in our closing circle. It was wonderful how much the group learned about one another in one day- new friends and old friends!

Tuesday:

We went to Pecos National Monument. It is a great place to practice ‘take only pictures, leave only footprints’. We learned about Kivas and the history of the pueblo before and after the Spanish came.  It was very interesting. We worked on our journals and spoke about documentation, what that means, and how it can be done. We are using pictures and drawing to document our time together. We went into the Kiva and learned about how they are built and what they were used for. We hiked around the ruins and played games during water breaks. After lunch we made sun prints, learning about light and exposure. Then we played a big game of tag. At the end of the day we learned a new song, reflected, and read The Giving Tree. A wonderful day out!

Wednesday:

Today we learned about tree anatomy: the tap roots, surface roots, heartwood, cambium, and bark. We acted out the various parts of the tree. We reviewed how to use our cameras. Then, after reading some tree stories, we headed to Leonora Curtain (a wetland preserve that is part of the Santa Fe botanical gardens). We were given a tour where we learned about the history of the wetlands and how ecologically special they are. The kids were so excited to take pictures and it was great to sit under the big cottonwood trees for stories and games. We played games using blindfolds and tried to remember the details of landscapes we were taken to. We also hugged a huge cottonwood –  it took everybody in the group! Seeing all the frogs in the pond was another highlight. We played more games to review the tree anatomy and looked at everyone’s favorite picture of the day. The day was great fun and we were lucky to have such nice weather!

Thursday:

Today we began the day with pinhole cameras. These cameras take a lot of patience!  It is interesting to contrast them with digital cameras where we get unlimited chances to take pictures already in focus. It was exciting for the kids to use our little viewfinders and find the shot they wanted to take with the idea that they only have one shot. Then we exposed the film and closed it up again! Picture taken! We read a story and had snack and headed to the Beaver Ponds. After taking a good hike and playing some games we put on face paint and it began to rain. We decided to head back and get out of the drizzle. We headed back early to the museum where we played freeze tag, made birds nests, and read stories about trees and reviewed our learning from the week. It was another great day!

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