Every now and then I like to use the blog to showcase activities from my son’s amazing school. I love a good field trip and their most recent one was REALLY good!
One of my favorite things about Carolina Day School is how they reinforce what was learned in class through hands-on activities. A perfect example – the fifth graders’ day in the wilderness recreating the adventures of Sam Gribley in the 1960 book My Side of the Mountain. The book, by Jean Craighead George, is about a 12-year-old boy tired of living in his parents’ small New York City apartment with his many brothers and sisters. He decides to run away to his great-grandfather’s abandoned farm and live in the wilderness.
To bring to life what the fifth graders learned from reading the book, last Friday was spent in the woods of Flat Rock, North Carolina. Students were broken into teams and given a map with several tasks to complete. With an adult or two in tow, they took off on the trail to follow Sam Gribley’s adventure. They built their own shelter, made camp implements from found objects, tried to catch fish in a nearby creek and explored an abandoned cabin. They also learned to start a fire and had mugs of hot chocolate for their hike.
My husband and I tagged along with another mom and a group of five fifth graders…two boys, three girls. We tried to keep quiet and let the kids figure it out. Surprisingly, the girls took over and made most of the decisions. It was funny listening to the debates on where to build the shelter and what was really important. The boys wanted to start building the animal trap. The girls wanted to finish the shelter so they could eat lunch inside. Overall, we were amazed at how well the kids worked together. It was really sweet to hear them talk. And the best part? There wasn’t a cellphone or iPad in sight! If the kids walked with their heads down, it was because they were studying the map, not playing on a phone…the way childhood should be!
Reading the map and voting where to start
Lunch inside the shelter
Making camp implements
Learning to start a fire
Crossing a creek in the rain
Trying to catch a fish with an old garbage bag they found
Hiking around an old, abandoned cabin
Lots of hiking