NatureCity Festival School Program 2018

Wild about Saskatoon is proud to present the NatureCity Festival school program for 2018, four days of wildly exciting learning opportunities for students and teachers including story time, festival kits, and readings. All the programs are free and space is limited. 

To register or book a kit, contact janet.mcvittie@usask.ca

Bus subsidy is available.

 

NEW: Nature City Festival Education Kits

The Education Committee of the Nature City Festival has created four different kits for teachers to book out for the week. There is one of each kit, and one teacher may sign it out for the week.

The kits contain materials and instructions. Two kits are oriented towards ecology, one is more chemistry oriented, one is astronomical. A brief description of the intent of each kit is below, as well as the materials included and the materials you will have to supply. We will drop the kits off to you on Tuesday, May 22, but you must return them to us, please.

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Ecology Kit: Tracks and Trackways

 

 

The purpose of this kit is for the students to explore their neighbourhood, to identify habitats (or portions of habitats) for some wild mammals that live in the city. The students will then make the tracks of the mammals from one part of the habitat to another, or form one complete habitat to another.

Included in the kit are:
• instructions;
• stencils of the tracks (to scale) for snowshoe hare, red foxes, white tail deer, and cougars;
• sidewalk chalk, for marking tracks on the sidewalks;
• chalk paint for marking tracks on grassy areas.

You will need to provide the water to mix the chalk paint. Return the instructions and stencils with the kits. The consumables (chalk and chalk paint) are expected to be consumed.

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Ecology Kit: Seed Dispersal

The purpose of this kit is for the students to learn different ways that animals distribute plant seeds. As well, the students will learn to make seed "bombs" and will be the animal agents of seed dispersal. The students will use the materials in a nearby park or the school yard.

Included in the kits are:
instructions;
headband templates so each student can be a different animal;
• plastic eggs, each colour representing seeds dispersed by a different animal;
• clay, for making seed bombs;
• soil, for making seed bombs;
• native wildflowers (really! Native to Saskatoon area of Saskatchewan) seeds, for making seed bombs.

You need to supply water as necessary in making the seed bombs, and for cleaning children's hands. Please return the instructions, head band templates, plastic eggs with the kit. The seed bomb materials are considered consumables. Please visit where the seed bombs were dropped in the early fall, to see if any native wildflowers grew from them.

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Chemistry Kit: Why Is Grass Green? Chromatography

The purpose of this kit is to support students learning about pigments in leaves, which create the leaf colours that we see. Also, this kit reinforces that it is because of chlorophyll (and other related pigments, such as xanthophyll - which will be seen more in fall) and sunlight, that the plant is able to cover light energy into plant material.

Kit includes:
Instructions;
• rubbing alcohol;
plastic cups;
• filter paper in the form of coffee filters

You will need to supply the leaves (by visiting the playground or a nearby park) [teach the students how to be respectful of the plant while removing one or a few leaves and remind them this is what Indigenous peoples do when they harvest from the wild]; paper; scissors; mortar and pestle or substitute (such as muddler or rock and sturdy bowl). Please return the instructions and the kit. All the other materials are considered consumables.

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Astronomy Kit: Keeping Track of Time: Sundial

In this kit, students will create a sundial. They are best to do this outdoors, although it could be done indoors on a sunny window ledge.

The kit contains:
Instructions;
• clay;
• sticks;

• rocks;
• compass.

You will need to supply nothing.

Please return the kit, instructions, rocks (you would be surprised how hard it is to find the right size of rocks!), compass.

NEW: A storyteller can come to you!

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Invite a reader-performer or a story teller-puppet show-er to your classroom, to share stories of nature.

Invite a reader-performer or a story teller-puppet    show-er to your classroom, to share stories of nature.

Two educators, Erin Lang and Ruth Skinner, have volunteered time to visit your classroom, to share stories that illustrate the value of nature in the city. We know that humans remember better when the information they learn is in the context of a story. These two women, individually, know the value of story with early learners up to grade 6.

Ruth Skinner has taught preschool to grade 8. She has shared nature stories at McNally Robinson with children for the last 7 years. She intersperses her stories with rhymes, songs, and props (check our her chrysalis). Ruth has numerous books to share, so let her know what topic you would like addressed. Ruth is available on Thursday, May 24 (morning, 9:15 a.m.) or Thursday, May 24 (afternoon, 1:15 p.m.) or Friday, May 25 (afternoon, 1:15 p.m). Contact Ruth Skinner at: prskinner@sasktel.net  to book your time with her. First come, first served.

Erin Lang has taught for three years, and is currently teaching kindergarten, half time in Saskatoon. She draws puppets into her story telling. She has numerous stories to share about nature with your students. If there is a particular topic you would like, let her know, and she will develop a selection that will suit. Or, just invite her to choose for the grade level and type of students you have.

Erin is available on Tuesday, May 22 (morning, 9:15 a.m.), Wednesday, May 22 (morning, 9:15 a.m.). Contact Erin Lang at: erinsncf@gmail.com to book your time with her. First come, first served.

Prairie Habitat Garden

The College of Education's Prairie Habitat garden is designed to be a source of education by offering students a chance to see prairie plants in a natural setting designed to showcase native Saskatchewan plants. This garden is intended to inspire students to strive to protect the plants and their habitats. By incorporating First Nations perspectives into the design elements of the garden (and related curriculum) it increases understanding and awareness of Saskatchewan's cultural heritage.

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Nature Poetry with Jordan

Jordan, musician and poet extraordinaire, loves to share his creative inspiration – nature – with children. In his two hour workshop in the Prairie Habitat Garden, Jordan will explore the natural world with the students, helping them to learn ecological relationships, and express their joy, passion, and understanding of their beauty in the language of poetry.

Grade range: 4-6
When: Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Prairie Habitat Garden, College of Education

Students should bring notebooks and their favourite pens, pencils, crayons. Students should dress appropriately for the weather, which means: long pants tucked in to socks, long sleeved shirts, hat, sunscreen. Students should also have their water bottles with them. 

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Prairie Dance, with Tina Bertoncini

Grade range: 1-3
When: Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Prairie Habitat Garden, College of Education

With a child-focused creative dance approach, we will explore the movements of the Prairie Habitat Garden and surrounding area. The swaying of the bergamot flower, the soar and screech of a hawk, and the long reaching branches of the elm trees could all serve as teachers and inspiration. We will begin our session with a warm-up to awaken and tune our senses, our imaginations, and our bodies' movement intelligence. We will move into an exploration of the Garden and find how the place and its inhabitants inform our dancing selves. We will work towards a 'dance-in-progress' sharing to end our session together.

Students should dress appropriately for the weather, which means: long pants tucked in to socks, long sleeved shirts, hat, sunscreen. Students should also have their water bottles with them.

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Learning In The Prairie Habitat Garden: Understanding And Appreciating The Interrelatedness Of All Living Things With Greg Morrison And Kevin Young

Grade range: 4-6
When: Tuesday, May 23, 2018
Time: 12:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where: Prairie Habitat Garden, College of Education

The Prairie Habitat Garden provides valuable opportunities for students to investigate the various relationships between living and non-living beings. Greg and Kevin, teacher candidates with the College of Education and coordinators for the Prairie Habitat Garden this summer, will engage the students in a series of hands-on activities. These activities include classifying species, observing and measuring patterns in nature, rock painting, nature journaling, and learning to see environmental issues through an Indigenous perspective. Our purpose for this workshop is to foster the students’ sense of curiosity and appreciation for nature, as well as promoting environmental stewardship.

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Rock Balancing Art

Grade range: 4-6
When: Thursday, May 24, 2018
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Prairie Habitat Garden, College of Education

Erin is a teacher with Saskatoon Catholic Schools. She has an expertise in balancing rocks, to make what seems simple, but are intricately balanced, rock sculptures. In this workshop, she will teach her art to the students, so they can create rock art in the Prairie Habitat Garden swale.

Students are asked to dress appropriately for the weather, which means: long pants tucked in to socks, running shoes, long sleeved shirts, jacket, hat, sunscreen. Students should also bring their water bottles.

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Earth’s Gifts

An Ethnobotany and Archeology Perspective With Sandra Walker

Grade range: 5-8
When: Thursday, May 24, 2018
Time: 12:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where: Prairie Habitat Garden, College of Education

Sandra is an archaeologist and ethnobotanist with Saskatoon Public Schools at the Brightwater Science and Environmental Centre. In this two hour workshop in the Prairie Habitat Garden, Sandra will introduce students to the relationship between native plant species and how past cultures would have used them for food, tools, medicine, clothing and shelter. For example, Red Osier Dogwood branches were used to create woven containers for storing and transporting goods.

Students are asked to dress appropriately for the weather, which means: long pants tucked in to socks, running shoes, long sleeved shirts, jacket, hat, sunscreen. Students should also bring a water bottle.

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The Rhythm of the Land,   

 

with Joseph Naytowhow

The land does not belong to us; we belong to it. In this educational event, students will participate in feeling, hearing, seeing, smelling the land, and then, learn to dance to the rhythms, with emerging elder, Joseph Naytowhow, who knows how to dance with the land.

Grade range: K-8
When: Friday, May 25, 2018
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Prairie Habitat Garden, College of Education

Students are asked to dress appropriately for the weather, which means: long pants tucked in to socks, running shoes, long sleeved shirts, jacket, hat, sunscreen. Students should also bring their water bottles.

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Garden Play:  Developing large and small muscles in Nature

With Bonnie Mihalicz

Grade Range:  K to 2.

When: Friday, May 25.

Time:  12:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.

Where:  Prairie Habitat Garden, College of Education

There is much research demonstrating the value of children’s active play in natural(ized) areas. Small and large muscles are developed, cortisol levels follow appropriate peaks and lows, meaning children are less anxious and more able to sleep through the night. Children develop physical confidence and coordination. The Prairie Habitat Garden has recently been renovated to enhance children’s learning in a naturalized setting.

Bring your early learners to the garden! In this workshop, children will freely explore the different areas in this naturalized space; interact with one another as they move, create, solve problems, and learn. The adults will develop greater understanding of children as knowers, as capable creators of understanding. The adults will observe, listening to conversations, gently interacting to facilitate deeper reflection.

Students should dress appropriately for the weather, which means: long pants tucked in to socks, long sleeved shirts, hat, sunscreen. Students should also have their water bottles with them.