In last month’s Coffee &Kids article in the Library Page, the importance of making connections in the learning process was discussed. Summer offers particular opportunities for making connections that may be less likely during the school year and in the school setting. Our summer articles will give examples of the types of connections you may wish to explore as family or individual adventures are planned, take place and thought about afterwards.Living in the North woods of Wisconsin, learning by making connections through a WALK IN THE WOODS is likely an every day occurrence. For some, the walk could be stepping into one’s backyard or neighborhood and observing, listening, touching and smelling or even tasting. Or a visit to a nearby nature area such as the Sam Campbell Trail*. Or taking a virtual walk in the woods*. Or reading a book about forests*. Using some combination of these resources, encourage seeking connections among them.Although some adult guidance, modeling and encouragement may be needed during early experiences in making connections, it is important to allow young learners to seek and make their own connections. This can be achieved by adults saying,            “This reminds me of….”             “What if…… ”              ” I wonder … (how, what, where, when, why)…..”Follow up  by encouraging a child to ask the  same sort of questions, reflect and maybe modify their answers and possibly share their thoughts with others.Take care not to impose adult answers as “correct answers.” Take care to understand  and discuss the connections your young learners make.  These connections come from a child’s perceptions of the natural world ( their prior experiential and academic knowledge). Expect to be surprised by some of their connections as you listen to their descriptions of the experience, in whatever format.Children are inquisitive/curious by nature. Encourage them to become the guides to their learning in a walk in the woods.

*Nearby field trips:

Oneida County Hiking Trails Search:Four Secluded Hiking Trails in Oneida County WI

Four Welcoming Walking Trails in Oneida County WI

Vilas County Trails:

Virtual forest field trips:

Cathedral Woods Nicolet National Forest video

 A City in the Forest

A Forest in the City

A Forest in the City

Books available at Demmer Library:

Woodland Trees by Theresa Greenway (nonfiction)

Where Once There was a Wood by Denise Fleming (fiction)

North Woods Girl by Aimee Bissonette (picture book)

Sticky Burr by John Lechner (juvenile fiction)

Forest Has a Song by Ludwig Vanderwater (nonfiction/poetry)