Outdoor Education Blog

Learning Beyond the Walls

Monday, November 06, 2006

English- Algonquin Style

Last week students from the College Lycee, in France, came to experience Algonquin wilderness, and learn English. These teenagers were full of enthusiasm- and had so much energy we decided that they needed to start off with a few games- there was alot of noise and laughter as students ran into each other while playing 'huckle/ buckle' (while learning English words for body parts) and used their acting skills for 'bear, frog, mosquito'.

We also took the students on a hike on the 'One-a-Day' trail where we introduced students to Canadian trees and animals. I was interested to hear that many of the students came from the city and had never been in the forest before. I felt privileged to introduce them to a place (the bush) that I love so much!

I had them meet the trees in the hardwood bush. Students had an opportunity to touch a variety of bark, leaves and twigs. I was surprised that this group of city kids did not hesitate to step off the trail and get their hands dirty! They really enjoyed themselves.

We had a great evening talking about Algonquin wolves and their niche in the local environment. Then we howled our way up to the fire pit for a campfire and smores!

The next morning we awoke to a winter wonderland! I was concerned that the students and their chaperones would be a little ‘put off’ by the weather. Boy was I wrong! They could not be more excited about the snow! Apparently they don’t get a lot of snow in the city where they live and were delighted to see Canadian snow before they left for home.

At the request of the group, we ended up walking through the woods and having a crazy snowball fight! After everyone was exhausted we finished the morning by making dream catchers and sipping hot chocolate around the woodstove.

Their visit was short and I was sorry to see the group leave- however I was tiered!

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