Forest Classroom

Fall Fire Day

Week 8; November 6, 2023

Our morning started with a scavenger hunt to find some signs of fall, like a maple leaf, a sign of a bird, a seed, etc. Once we completed our search, we got busy on collected dead and down sticks for our fire building lesson. We needed to collect dry sticks that weren’t very thick that we could use later in the morning, we collected two sap buckets full. 

Students doing a scavenger hunt
Working on our scavenger hunt Photo: Audubon Vermont

After morning meeting and snack we warmed up our bodies by helping out center stacke some kindling for our sugarhouse. We had a group that was take wood from the pile and one group that was stacking. After we staked everything, we played a game of freeze tag in the field! 

Students stacking wood
Warming up by helping to stack wood! Photo: Audubon Vermont
Student playing a game in the field
Playing our freeze tag game in the field Photo: Audubon Vermont

Before lunch we got to fire building. Kyra sat with us to talk about fire safety, like someone needs to be at the fire at all times, we need an adult present, sticks need to fit in our tin, we need a way to put out the fire before we start it, etc. Once we all felt safe and ready, we got our stations ready and clear of leaves. First, we got comfortable with our matches, everyone who wanted to was given a match and a cotton ball. To practice striking our matches we first got to light our cotton ball. Then once everyone in our groups went, we got started and built our fire structures. Some groups go something going, but no one really had big success, which is fine! Next week we will do it again and discuss why we had difficulty and what we could do better and how we can change what we did to have more success. Kyra and I made a larger fire, roasted our pumpkin seeds over it (From a few weeks ago) and enjoyed our lunch. 

student lighting a match
Practicing lighting matches Photo: Audubon Vermont
Students lighting a match
Practicing lighting our matches Photo: Audubon Vermont

In the afternoon we explored Beaver Pond, played with mud and watched some geese. We also found some shiny “oil” on the mud and did a little experiment. When we put a stick in the oil if it broke apart and made a circle it was naturally occurring oil, but if it was repelled and then came back together it would be synthetic and something from road runoff. Luckily this was naturally occurring oil! This oil happens naturally when organic matter breaks down and from the soil. You can learn more about it here and if you have water near your home, see if you can spot this and test it yourself. 

Students at beaver Pond
Exploring Beaver Pond Photo: Audubon Vermont
oil at the pond
Oil found at the pond Photo: Audubon Vermont
Oil spot at pond
Oil spot at pond that we poked with a stick Photo: Audubon Vermont

Then we journaled back at the clubhouse about our time at the pond and shared out. We ended our day playing with the parachute and sharing our favorite part of the day! 

Students journaling
Journaling about Beaver Pond Photo: Audubon Vermont
Student jounaling
Photo: Audubon Vermont

I love fire building and can’t wait to do it more with these students in our colder months. 

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