Part of the magic of outdoor learning is how it can link both outdoor and indoor learning.
I am fascinated by plants and trees, their mystery and folklore. There is a whole heritage there that we often forget.
This weekend we have been battered by not one but two storms. But Saturday was a beautiful day and I could get out for a walk around my village. I couldn’t help but notice that the countryside was carpeted was snowdrops.
Of course, being me I then came home to research this wee flower. I was surprised at the difference in the lore for this simple flower, a bringer of hope and death! I discovered a German tale…
At the beginning of time, when all things came to life, the snow sought a colour to wear. The beautiful, colourful, bright flowers were much admired, yet they guarded their colours. They turned their back, too selfish and jealous to share with the snow.
But one tiny and humble flower, the snowdrop, took pity on the snow. This kind flower offered to share its colour. The snow was so grateful for this kindness, gratefully accepting it. Snow became white forevermore, just like the little snowdrop.
As thanks to the snowdrop for its kindness, the snow offered the tiny flower protection to appear in winter, allowing it to be impervious to the snow and ice. From then on, the snow and snowdrop could be found, side by side, best of friends.
The flip side of this beautiful wee plant is rather different, though! It is also known as an omen of death.
In Victorian Britain, it was believed that you should never take a snowdrop into a home, or death would surely follow. Many claimed that the snowdrop brought into their home also brought their widowhood.
Whatever you believe, this wee flower is a sure sign that the darkest moments of winter have passed, and spring is on her way.
Many children I taught found tales and folklore enchanting and it motivated them in their learning. Whether you are looking at the snowdrop or another local flower, what could the children find out? And how could they share it?