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Laurel School

Eco!Wonder: Encouraging Our Youngest Children to Care

Laurel School

Our goal

1. To encourage three, four and five year old children to begin to realize that they can play an important role in keeping our environment healthy.
2.To help three, four, and five year old children understand the cycles of nature.
3.To offer three, four and five year old children unrestricted experiences in nature so that they can explore and discover on their own.

How we are doing it

The curriculum is full of hands on activities that are meaningful and relevant to the target age group. Sustainability is explored through conversation, recycling, composting,and rain water collection. The cycles of nature come alive through activities such as all year round planting, hatching duck eggs, watching up close the life cycle of Painted lady and Monarch butterflies. The children are offered both guided and unguided experiences with the natural world. A "Healthy Snack Initiative" helps us to talk to the children about how and why they need to care for their bodies.

What we are learning

The Eco!Wonder curriculum takes a great deal of time, effort, commitment and passion from every Pre-Primary faculty member. We discovered that it takes deliberate weekly planning to fit Eco!Wonder activities into our already packed school day. We strongly believe in the principles of Eco!Wonder and its importance in the lives of young children. In an effort to slow down the pace of the school day for both adults and children, we made the conscious decision to place the Eco!Wonder curriculum at the core of all that we do in the classroom. This meant spending quite a bit of time re-examining our tried and true themes and either discontinuing them or reshaping them so that they fit into Eco!Wonder. As a faculty we are committed to not only keeping Eco!Wonder alive for the children but also for ourselves. We have found that through Eco!Wonder, the children have become more aware and inquisitive about the world around them and more responsible about sustainability. The faculty are inspired, renewed, and excited about the curriculum and our new initiatives. We believe that through Eco!Wonder we can truly encourage our youngest children to care.

School Information

School: Laurel School
Grade level: K-5
Number of students in your project: 88
Subjects: Art English/Language Arts Math Science Social Science
Number of students in your school: 645
Project initiator: Jane Thornton

Contact Information

Jane Thornton, Director of Pre-Primary School
1 Lyman Circle  Shaker Heights,  OH  44122
jthornton@laurelschool.org
www.laurelschool.org

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