The Exhilaration of Exploration

“The most important thing to take on a journey is a notebook.  What is the point of going somewhere if you can’t tell a great story about it? “ ~ Robin Hanbury-Tenison         

Dear Families and Friends,

It was a splendiforous day for our visit to Wheeler Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Even with frigid temperatures outside, young explorers were invested from the get go. After marveling at the vast expanse of ice “like a lake for ice-skating,” they cast their eyes on a rambunctious squirrel that found the humans just as interesting.  Then it was time to follow Susan’s lead. She showed kids how to draw a tree in the quarry landscape.

Fourth graders found a comfortable spot where they got a good look at their tree from a distance. In their explorers’ journals, they began to draw. Decisions had to be made as to how to organize their observations on the page. 

Following the tree shape with their pencil was a good way to start. Kids were particularly tuned into how the elements in the quarry connected to each other, and LEAPS’ artists gave each child feedback. Everyone discovered that having at least an hour to make the drawing gave them a chance to apply the skills they’d been practicing in the classroom. Detail and color made their compositions that much richer.










 In the context of what they’d heard from Len last week, kids captured the majesty of the quarry and the intricacy of their tree.

All explorers value maps, and today ours created their own. Cindy provided guideposts for the challenge – asking kids to take a bird’s eye view. With the goal of coming to consensus in groups of four, kids had to be attentive to their classmates’ ways of thinking.





We are immensely grateful for the chance to explore Wheeler Bay, Jocelyn and Len. We thank Mrs. Riley, principal of Thomaston Grammar School, for taking time out of her day to join our exploration.

Feeling exhilarated, Nancy, Susan, Dee, Cindy, Alanna, and Emma (interning with LEAPS)







“Without this curiosity we would all have stayed at home.” ~ Robin Hanbury-Tenison 







2 thoughts on “The Exhilaration of Exploration

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