Little Hive Explores the Mysterious World of Forests

Mrs. Shortridge and Mrs. McKnatt followed our youngest girls’ interest in forests to expand their imagination and creativity.
This is a narrative of what Mrs. Shortridge and Mrs. McKnatt's Little Hive girls have been working on this fall.

Our Little Hive class expressed an interest in the forest and all the things you can find in them. We started going on walks in the "forest" (the area by the farm), and we discussed what we could see, hear, feel, and taste. The girls were also intrigued by the animals that live in forests, so we brought in books about the forest from the library. This led to "animal hunts" in the classroom and outside, during which we searched for all kinds of animals, including squirrels, bunnies, birds, and bears. In our block center, we provided a space for our girls to explore creating their own forests with wooden blocks, animal figurines, and trees. They created homes and made up stories.

Little Hive girls were amazed by the items they found on nature walks.

Every time we went on a walk through the forest, the girls wanted to collect objects such as leaves, acorns, and sticks. We slowly started to make a class collection and used them in various ways around the room. We read the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert and asked the girls to brainstorm what they would like to create with the objects they collected. They felt inspired by dogs, ducks, and their families. Using the leaves, sticks, and acorns, each girl made their own leaf creation.

A Little Hive student recreated her dog, Neyland, out of leaves and acorns her class collected.

Throughout this study, our girls collaborated, expanded their fine motor skills, and practiced creative storytelling. We are proud of how they questioned the world around them and made astute observations. We loved seeing the girls' imagination and creativity as they explored the forest.

This study exemplifies how our early childhood teachers follow a Reggio Emilia-inspired approach to learning, which encourages each girl to engage in self-directed, exploratory learning to gain both knowledge of herself and the world around her.


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