Today I was a parent volunteer for my son Cohen’s class trip. Although I didn’t dwell in a location along my route from home to school, I feel like this experience was another way to bring my parent and student lives together. The route we took to the museum allowed us time to explore the creek and surrounding plants as we made our way on foot to our destination. The weather was beautiful and sunny. I walked with my son Cohen at my side and my son Caius in the stroller. Fifteen 6-8 year olds were ahead of us with their teacher in the lead and two other parent volunteers there to help. Each child walking to a different rhythm, noticing different elements and learning in their own way.
We attended two sessions at the museum, all about fossils and dinosaurs, before heading outside again to explore and have lunch by Wascana Lake. The children had a wonderful time running and climbing trees during recess break. I gazed around at them in awe, at their freedom and bravery to take risks and laugh loudly. Both Cohen and Caius chose trees to sit in, to look at the world from a different point of view. What fun to look down from above when you are used to always looking up.
We then traveled along the lake towards the Legislative Building. We stopped in the garden area and were asked to find fossils. The children were given note books and pencils and had time to sit and look and think. Nestled within the solid rocks, that were used as foundations for the statues and benches, were fossils, lots of fossils everywhere. The children were asked to draw what they saw and to imagine what creature they thought the fossil belonged to.
The children found fossils that they thought came from snake tails and T-Rex claws, shells and toe nails and creatures with wings. They drew and drew and struggled to sound out their words on paper. I sat and watched and helped when needed.
It was now cloudy with a slight breeze, the children were completely engaged and I felt relaxed and uplifted at this wonderful example of living curriculum. The information from the museum was coming alive for these eager 6-8 year olds as they made discovery after discovery and imagined what a past world may have looked like.