Friday, 21 March 2014

Water Pipit Windows.

Due to parents evenings we were unable to get out to the marsh for our session this week. It is fair to say that we were all a little disappointed not to be exploring the marshland once again. However, when the rain started to really fall halfway through the session there were some sighs of relief!

So we had a classroom session. BBC Inside Out very kindly sent me a copy of a recent film they made about South Efford Marsh with Nick Baker. I was able to show the children this great little film. The children saw the sluice gate in action with water pouring in and out with the tide. They also got to see some of the birds we saw last week but in more detail and closer up - the beautiful plumage of the egret and the vibrant colours of the Shelduck.

Devon Wildlife Trust (as manager of the site) have asked the children if they can paint a sign for the bird hide. When the hide first went up one of the local bird watchers first saw a Water Pipit so it was decided that the hide should be called, "The Water Pipit Hide".

So the children got to drawing a Water Pipit. This gave them all a chance to identify some of the characteristic features of this little bird compared to its other Pipit family. They realised the black eyeliner, the white eye shadow and the white throat of this little bird.

As the children were drawing the bird, one of the children suggested "Water Pipit Windows" as a name. This then went on to a discussion amongst the children about is this alliteration or not. They're a bright bunch!

We also prepared a "fish trap", which consists of a bottle cut in half and then the spout inverted to make a small fish trap.

The children also decided who might do which parts of their guided walk they will give in June. They seemed very pleased to be told that they would be the local "experts on South Efford Marsh" so local people and their school friends will want to come and learn from them about this wetland and their experiences.

One of the children was assigned the task of creating a graph of our temperature readings from the creeks for our guided talk...which she agreed to with huge enthusiasm.

It is such a joy to run this project with these children who are so very keen to learn and are so enthusiastic about what they see! It really does help that we have such a stunning backdrop in the shape of South Efford Marsh! It also goes to show how much learning can be achieved through outdoor learning. We've incorprated some science, maths, English, art, team working and even confidence building through public speaking!

Next week - fish!!

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