Learning Story – How can we make connections?

Learning Story – How can we make connections?

The Week of Nov 10, 2023

What Happened?

The main inquiry question for today was “How can we make connections to who we are and how we are feeling.” The Storywalk ‘Sometimes I Feel Like A Fox’ guided our discussions and play during the day. We asked the children to consider which animal they connected to at morning circle, and let them know that we would revisit the question later to see if they then identified with another animal. The book was written by an Anishinaabe author which introduces children to their tradition of totem animals. https://houseofanansi.com/products/sometimes-i-feel-like-a-fox  ‘Danielle Daniel explains the importance of totem animals in Anishinaabe culture and how they can also act as animal guides for young children seeking to understand themselves and others.’ We discussed Spirit animals or Totem animals, which lead to someone sharing their spirit animal and how they had come to know this about themselves. This story led to many other stories about many instances when the children had had a close connection with an animal. We love how we have built a community where so many of the Bushkids want to share their lives with each other. 

We had decided that we needed to stick together because we were limited to two educators, and felt that this new environment might be a learning experience for everyone involved: Bushkids, Aurora College students and educators. The children were asked to think about the connections they could make to themselves and the others in a larger group, which is a slightly different environment for them than usual.

The weather also played an important role in our play and discussions throughout the day. As the environment changed over the day, so did, for some of us, how we identified with our animals. The children noticed that as the sun beat down, the snow slowly changed from hard, crunchy snow to soft, wet, malleable snow. We discussed how we also might change in a new environment and feel differently in that new environment..

Why is it Important?

Knowing who we are and being able to identify and articulate our feelings allows us all to build relationships with each other. If we create space to hear each other’s ideas and stories, we will lay the foundation of a strong community.  The Bushkids demonstrated how they are in the midst of building this community  when the majority of them decided it was time to join forces and use some of the larger snowballs to build Grandpa Jeffery Bushkids, the original Bushkid. They worked together, many of them taking on different roles. There were miscommunications, which were resolved, directions to be followed and a whole lot of effort to construct the snowman. It took many different skills to be able to complete the task and the Bushkids community was up to the task. 

What Does This Mean For Next Time?

We will continue to share stories. Bushkids’ stories, Elders’ stories, educators’ stories and the ancestors’ stories. We were very excited to share with the Bushkids that they will have the opportunity to write their own Bushkid story and illustrate it in a book that we will print at the end of the school year. We are awaiting the arrival of the paperwork from Student Treasures, but when it arrives we will share the information with everyone. We invite you to be a part of the process. Ask your children to share their stories with you, which will prepare them to choose their story when the time comes. Some children may choose to write a family member’s story or write a story with another Bushkid. We are open to any process that each Bushkid chooses. 

We also hope to have many storywalks in the future and incorporate more storytelling into our circle as we continue to learn more about each other and build community. 

There is a great hope to build a whole town of snowmen, but we discussed how that may not happen. That was the first time Bushkids has ever been able to build so many snowmen due to the strange weather!