Yesterday, in the dewy haze of late morning, I took my sprouts outside to do some illustrating. We’re studying trees and have been talking a lot about roots, trunks, branches, and leaves. With a few days of study under our belts, I thought it would be a good time to do some sketching of real trees.
Before heading out, sitting on the carpet, I modeled how an artist would sit, study, and sketch. After a few minutes of silence (really, they’ll watch me do anything), we popped out the exit door in our classroom and found trees to study.
There is something amazing about taking your class outside for learning. Almost all of the kids sat, much like I had, and did their sketching. It was (relatively) quiet and they were (relatively) focused. I was amazed at the level of detail some of them saw and transferred to their work. We stayed outside for almost a half an hour – more time than any of the them could have sustained working inside at this early point in the year.
As much as I look forward the changing of seasons and cold, snowy days ahead (really, I do love wearing sweaters), I’ll miss our ability to spontaneously head outside and let nature inspire us.