Life on Land in action at Willmore Kindy

At Willmore Kindergarten, there is a strong belief that children learn in 100 languages or more, inspired by Loris Malaguzzi from Reggio Emilia. Here are some of the ways the children have been researching and thinking about trees.

Since the beginning of the year, the educators have been talking and researching with the children about our earth and in particular the importance of trees. The process began as a result of the Director, Linda Meinicke, attending a Network meeting workshop run by Lisa Sonter on the UN’s 17 Sustainability Development Goals. As a staff and community, Willmore wants to make a difference to our world one tree at a time.

The children and educators are fascinated by how trees grow and connect to each other just like a family using their amazingly complex root network – similar to the neurons in our brain and how they connect much like a web of roots.

Using the language of drawing, the children were given a way to show their understanding and interest. The process began by brainstorming together what we know about trees and recording it on a web. The children sat together in a circle with clipboards and began drawing. They each know trees in their own unique way and the group discussion helped them to form a picture in their minds they could replicate in their drawings. One child drew how a tree grows from a seed, buds and then forms a tree. They later added a fourth picture to show that the tree was continually growing.

The children brainstorming together

The children have been very interested in growing, including how tall they are growing and how they never stop growing. The correlation between trees and human beings comes up every day at kindy.

Another way the children have explored trees is using a projector. There is a beautiful series on Netflix called Moving Art. It is filmed by Louie Schwartzberg and highlights the beauty in oceans, forests, deserts and flowers. The children really connected with this visual technology and it helped to further their thinking and understanding. It is our intention that using the projector will encourage the children to build stories associated with the films.

The  project will continue until we are satisfied with what we have learnt or wish to research. We are going to explore trees and their connections using clay as another language of learning. It is our hope that this close and detailed investigation of trees will help the children

be advocates for their world and in particular the UN SDG 15 goal of Life on the Land.

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