Saturday, 14 June 2014

Remembering Rocks:
Mapping Treasured Places and Spaces Outdoors

The Spark:
When the seasons changed and the wintery frost and snow melted away to reveal the earth beneath it,  we noticed small collections of rocks scattered in clusters here and there throughout the forest floor.
 These small rock collections appeared, as if by magic, and then grew into wonderful groupings that were ever so carefully chosen and placed into a specific collections during the children's free play time.  The children became secret collectors of special rocks and their act of collecting almost went unnoticed until the rock collections grew and grew into a very noticeable interest/obsession.  And so, our rock inquiry began.

On this day, we adventured outdoors to our "Adventure-Rope Tree" to look for some living forest food for our snail terrarium indoors.  We were using the ropes to access the area at the base of an incline when we noticed two rocks neatly placed at the base of the tree.  I asked the children why they were placed there and they told me they were REMEMBERING ROCKS.

I asked them what that meant and they told me that they used the remembering rocks to mark locations in the forest that they loved to go to and to point the way for friends to find.  These treasured places and spaces then became ceremoniously blessed with the placement of a remembering rock at the site where it is located.  We then began to learn about inuksuks.  As each child visited the locations for the first time they would collaboratively add a stone, carefully balancing one on top of the other to create an inuksuk.  We will be mapping these "loved spots" within the forest on a large mural.

Here is how our inquiry unfolded:

1.  Rock collections beginning to form:

2.  Children choosing special rock:
"This is my speckled rock."

3.  This is our Adventure-Rope Tree:

4.  Remembering Rocks:

5.  We learned about Inuksuks:

6.  Mapping with Remembering Rocks:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Diana -- I'm so glad to have followed you here from your comment at my blog, One Man's Wonder. I love this post about a ritual of remembrance -- and wish you were posting more often :-)