Thursday, July 1, 2010

Project WILD !!!

What were ten supposed adults doing running around the lawn of the MDC Regional Office?  Getting WILD- that is Project WILD.

Project WILD is one of the most widely used conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students in kindergarten through high school. It is based on the premise that young people and educators have a vital interest in learning about our natural world.  A national network of State Wildlife Agency Sponsors ensures that Project WILD is available nationwide --training educators in the many facets of the program.

 Our class of ten included teachers, MDC personnel from the Conservation Nature Center, city employees, college students and Master Naturalists.  It was taught by Jay Barber of MDC and Carl and Janet Haworth (facilitators from Master Naturalists).

We were introduced to the large number of teaching exercises by experiencing some of them as well as hands on teaching of each other.  It turns out that this group is not a lot different than 6th graders, just slower and a lot more wise cracks.

A morning exercise was to observe nature outside and write a poem in five minutes based on what we saw.  One format option was a cinquain, five lines of defined length and content.  There were lots of beautiful results.

Colorful river
Purple, green, over, under
Swaying and blowing, sleeping and running
Comfort, joy, strength and weakness below and above
Beautiful sight.
-Kim White

Tall yellow bright
Is gracefully moving
Searching, seeking, longing, hoping
For sun.
-Janet Haworth
Then there were those driven by the experience of the day, not so much beautiful as...well, you judge.
Little deadly
irritating, distracting, annoying, bloated
Blood sucking opportunist sucker diptera
Smacking squashing falling dying dead
-Liz Schroeder

Another exercise divided the class into Predator and Prey, 10 rabbits and 2 coyotes (in orange).  The coyotes are to tag the rabbits while they run from their safe homes between shelter (towels) to pick up food tokens and get back to their home base.  The goal is to introduce the experience of leaving shelter to get food and freezing when a predator is seen, much like a rabbit.  The rabbit has to get enough food to live while avoiding capture while the coyote will starve if it doesn't catch an occasional rabbit.  This leads to a discussion of strategies of predator and prey.

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