Campsite classroom lets children learn in and from nature

School News Network

Fifth-graders find a place of peace and quiet for reading at Camp Valley View, a clearing in the woods behind their school

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Our friends at School News Network share about a schoolwide reading project that led to outdoor experiences for some fifth grade students. Take a look!

“Emerging from the trees like brightly colored woodland creatures, 30 fifth-graders come into a clearing and quickly claim their spots: tree-stump stools, a tent, five girls in a canoe. Teacher Megan McCall gives them the signal and they fall silent, absorbed in their books in the quiet stillness of a spring afternoon. 

Third-grader Ilah DeVries discovers the simple joy of climbing a woodland vine

Will Glover, clad in an MSU T-shirt, reads an adventure story about a kid who finds himself in the woods with only a hatchet to survive – a fitting tale for the surroundings. 

“I like how there’s the birds chirping while you read, and nature all around you,” Will says quietly. 

McCall looks around at her students and sees a blessing at work. 

“For such a hard year, all our challenges we faced, this is such a bright spot,” she whispers. “We are so grateful. It’s a gift.”  

The gift is Camp Valley View, a little circle of tranquility carved out of a thick wood behind Valley View Elementary School by an energetic parent volunteer. Together with a guided exploration of nature in a nearby hollow, and a schoolwide read about some industrious squirrels, it added up to a memorable outdoor experience for students long cooped up with masks and computers.”

Click here to read more!

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