Thursday, 24 April 2014

Presence Rocks:

Children Learn, Explore, Play With Rocks

The Spark:
We started looking at rocks after noticing whorl patterns on the shells of our snails and decided to venture outdoors to look at patterns in nature.  Rocks caught our special attention!  Exploring the many facets of rocks is such a exciting endeavour because rocks come in many shapes and sizes that the variety seems endless.  

We have decided to build a rain garden that includes a variety of rocks and plants.  Rain gardens stop rain water runoff and help to filter potentially polluted water with the use of plants, rocks and soil.  

To start this provocation into rocks, we begin by reading the book, Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor.  In the book she describes the ten rules for finding a special rock.  

Whorl pattern on snail shell

Speckled pattern on rock
"This rock looks like a giraffe!"  

Stripped pattern on rock

Take Action:

1.  Read the book, Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor:
Have the children listen to a reading of this book on how to find a special rock.

2.  Go outdoors:
Get outdoors and find a rock.  You may have some difficulty yanking the rocks out of the ground, especially in spring, so bring out some small digging tools.

3.  Play a game called EVERY ROCK IS SPECIAL:
This game is designed to demonstrate that everything in nature has a special quality.  When they have their rock, let them notice what is special about that rock.  Why did they choose it?  They should keep what is special about that rock to themselves.  What we find special about things in nature is very personal and what we find special in something may not be special to others.  It may consist of the rocks colour, shape, pattern, smoothness, and so forth.  Place each child's rock into a bag and shake the bag.  Dump out the bag and see if they can find their special rock.  If they find it then they have found their special rock.

4.  Presence Stones:
The presence stones are used as an introductory provocation for looking at rocks.  Each child writes their name on the rock.  Everyday, upon their arrival, the child finds their rock and places it in the attendance basket.  Placing their rock in the basket is a symbolic gesture for their presence in the class and honours that child's presence as part of the group.   

Follow us as we adventure into the world of rocks!


  1. Love the presence stones! What a great idea! What a great blog post Diana. Thank you!
    (Bonnie, Victoria Nature School)

    1. Thank you, Bonnie. I really appreciate your kind words and thanks for following. Hope you are doing well with your forest school.