June 12, 2013
Emma and I are gearing up for the Discovery Magnet groups tomorrow and Friday, which will be the largest school group we've seen so far, and the most exciting, according to the rangers. I personally am looking forward to leading the paintbrush limbo, a variation of the traditional party game using a giant paintbrush instead of a limbo stick. Hopefully the weather will hold up for our last official days in the Burlingham House Visitors Center!
Last week, we hosted classes of third and eighth graders; I enjoy leading the Pond Walk portion of the tour and observing the different reactions the kids have to exploring the natural aspects of the environment and learning about the history of the pond itself. The third graders tackle the walk with the unbridled enthusiasm unique to young children, racing to get around the pond and requiring constant reminders to slow down, and literally, smell the flowers. Whenever a fish was spotted, great pandemonium would ensue. ("Oh my gosh, I see it!" "It's a bluegill!" "There's two-no three of them!!!") They were accompanied by their science teacher and so received more of an environmental approach to the walk, whereas the eighth graders were visiting with their art teacher, whose only instruction was for everyone remain silent for a few moments on the far side of the pond to observe, feel, and sense the surroundings.
Before I started interning here, I was unaware that Weir Farm National Historic Site is such a popular spot field trips and tours, but interacting with the students has been one of my favorite parts of the internship. It is such a joy to be a part of the continuum of education and enrichment that organically occurs through a walk around the park.