an intrinsic respect for nature, discovering balance and wellness
for ourselves, and extending this healthier lifestyle outward as we
inspire others with our personal creativity. Celebrate Nature! is an
integral part of this wholesome formula because nature restores,
refreshes, and offers hope through its continually renewing pro-
cess each and every season.
A Natural Design
The organization of this book plays off nature’s consistent renew-
ing process by following the natural cycle of the seasons. At its
heart are four nature study sections: one each for autumn, win-
ter, spring, and summer. Each nature study section includes seven
themes that explore a type of animal, plant, process, or other sub-
ject associated with that time of year. No matter where you are in
the school year, you can easily delve into the appropriate nature
study section, select a theme, and begin anew, incorporating any
of the ideas and activities into your curriculum.
Each nature study section opens with reflection: mine on that
season’s meaning for me, and yours, on memories of the season—
tastes, smells, textures, images, traditions, and stories—to fill your
spirit and your classroom. Next, I invite you to give the children a
simple musical ritual for saying good-bye to the season they have
just enjoyed and for welcoming the season ahead and all of its
surprises. Following that, I offer suggestions for encouraging the
children’s families to participate as well.
Many of the lyrics I create for classroom use are sung to the
simple tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or another familiar
melody. I do this for two reasons. First, throughout the school
year, the children can independently sing the songs. Second, the
tune is consistent, and they can share their newfound songs at
home, thus developing strong home-and-school connections.
Each season’s seven themes open with suggestions for explor-
ing outside. These ideas will help you provide the children with
quality time outdoors, an opportunity for hands-on exploration,
and the potential to become fascinated by an aspect of nature.
In most cases, the field trips take you no farther than the school
grounds and their neighborhood, but that act of simply enjoying
nature is imperative and valuable. When you add dialogue with
the children, you have quality beyond compare. If you choose
to implement only one thing from this book, I encourage you to
implement the Exploring Outside ideas and the sample questions,
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