It helps us to grow with the earth. It nurtures the love of nature and grows it with you. In going to Fortville, we can learn to be one with the earth. To love nature and appreciate what it does for us. We study the way animals live. We study the way the seasons change the woods.
We learn how to help preserve nature in its full capacity. We love nature. We understand nature, and in doing so we understand ourselves, the way of the world, the circle of life. We also have fun. But in having fun we learn that nature is good, and fun.
We learn the importance of Nature, and so I ask you now, let us keep this valuable class, let us keep learning to love nature. Let us one day save the world by our love of nature. ”
The words above were written by a 5th grader to a fictional Mr Bean, who, in a brain exercise I devised for class on a thundering Friday, had decreed that Nature Studies was on the proverbial chopping block.
When I came up with this writing prompt I was not prepared for the original ideas and wisdom that poured forth from these young minds. None of the above was planted by their teacher. These are not my words eloquently packaged and repeated. No, these are their words, their thoughts, their reflections. In the breathing space of the forest, and at the invitation to simply be in the woods, our students come to know themselves.
I’ll leave you with a few parting thoughts brought to you by the 5th grade:
“I think that having Nature Studies has had a great impact on my life. And I wish that every kid could have the opportunity to have Nature Studies.”
“Our outside world is fading fast so if we don’t enjoy it now, we never will.”