A Visitor from Outer Space?

Forest School and outdoor learning sessions often start with a hook. A hook is simply a way into a session and it should capture the children’s imagination and motivate the young people to take part. Popular hooks are stories, props, a challenge and news stories.

This weekend saw the first meteor shower of the year, the Quadrantid meteor shower. One of our memorable shelter building sessions was inspired by one of the many meteor showers which occur each year. A meteor shower occurs when the earth passes through the path of a comet. Bits of the comet debris burn up as they reach the earth’s atmosphere causing bright streaks of light across the night sky. Armed with nothing more than a set of coloured plastic spoons and a story to tell, we sent off to the woods and this is what happened.

When the children arrived at the woods today, they were told that on Wednesday evening, two teachers had spotted a bright light travelling very fast through the sky and since then weird things had started appearing in the woods.

The children eagerly set off into the woods and found objects hanging from the trees that would not normally be there. Some were red and easy to spot, whilst the pale green ones were harder to find amongst the new leaves.

Finished shelter

Finished shelter

Once these had been retrieved, the children discovered a piece of information about their ‘visitor’ such as ‘likes to live where they can see water’ or ‘can climb trees’ and their task was to construct an appropriate home for them, including of course the spoon shaped objects to make them feel welcome. They then built trails using things such as stick arrows, coloured wool and pine cones to guide their creature from the path to their home.

If you missed the first meteor shower there are more this year so get planning your Forest School and outdoor learning sessions now:-
The dates of upcoming meteor showers this year are:-
– Lyrids April 16-26 2015
– Eta Aquarids peaks 5-6 May 2015
– Perseids peaks 11-13 August 2015
– Draconid peaks 7-8 October 2015. This shower has a link with the constellation Draco the dragon, perfect to inspire children’s imaginations!
– Orionids peaks 21-22 October 2015

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