Brief History of Natural History

December24, 2023
by Shibumi

“A lively, bustling place
I can see
But what do I write about it
For Natural History ?
Me, I hear noises all around
But under the water, it must be without a sound
No Oms shouting, no birds in the trees
Chirping, like it was their last time
Flying in the breeze
Is it really as peaceful, as it seems?
Or is it just me,
Imagining a world with no screams? “

At the end of every academic year, just before the summer break we come out with a homemade magazine, with a central theme. This academic year our theme is “Natural History”. With the intent to pause and rediscover our connection, relate and understand our natural surrounding more closely.

To start the momentum for the exploration we decided that the whole school would meet one hour a week to engage with our natural surroundings.

The first term was dedicated to pausing and observing. We started with activities that would aid observation.

One morning we met at a central point and started dispersing around the campus when the gong was struck. On the next sound of the gong we all stopped. Here, we started to look more closely at our surrounding. It helped us look at aspects that we may have otherwise missed. Like an insect underneath a leaf , a spider that was came camouflaged or komorebi (sunlight filtering through leaves).  It was an opportunity to start becoming more observant as the process was repeated a few more times.

A treasure hunt to identify the plants collected from samples of parts of plants from the campus helped us explore the campus further. It was interesting to look at our campus with an intention to find something as opposed to the previous activity where there was no motive to our looking.

Following this we brought in journals, to scribble notes, draw and document the natural history of the campus.

To bring some focus to our looking, we decided that each of us would find a home of any organism on campus and observe and journal it for a duration of the term.

 I went to observe a termite mound but there were no termites. Instead the bees made it their home!  

        –  Student

The second term we split into groups and worked on specific fields to gain more knowledge about our themes on our campus. Trees, butterflies, bird, pond habitats, edible and useful plants were the topics. We continued to journal through this term.

This term, before the winter break we are looking at natural history through creative writing and poetry.

” You’re as hot
as the sun

One bite and
it won’t be fun

If you think it’s funny,
Please have
Ale’s chutney ”

“Has Ruby petals
Used in making of tea
I described this plant

It’s a hibiscus plant thing
Has stomata-Ah “

“It gleams in the sunlight
Drops of water hang suspended
Seeming springy and elastic
How easily one could end it “

Our exploration with the natural world will continue throughout this academic year. At the end of it we will have our magazine out with glimpses of our observation.

Here is a link to a student’s thoughts on Natural History work that we did so far.

Keep an eye out for the magazine at this link just before summer arrives.

Learning Resource, nature

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