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LNT #5 - Minimize Campfire Impact

Hello blog followers! The Hive was running strong these last few months but with winter approaching, COVID changing many plans and the holiday season being extra busy, I have fallen behind on my blogging! Time to catch up!

Let's talk about Leave No Trace #5 - Minimize Campfire Impact! Due to the foot or so of snow on the ground we were not able to actually build any fires but students were given a homework assignment to make one at home in a fire pit or stove (with parental supervision of course).

To start our day we talked about the fire triangle and some different aspects of a natural environment that would make a fire stronger! Most of the hive have been Idaho residents their whole lives and are very familiar with the fire season affecting the air and visual quality of our little mountain town! I used the fire triangle and making basic campfires to transition into discussion about fire history and the importance of fire in a forest ecosystem! As we've walked around the state park this fall, students noticed signs of fire and were excited to connect past observations with new information.

ABOVE: Kindergarten fire triangle example. She used pictures to represent a few ideas. She mostly was able to understand needed wood and something to start a fire!

BELOW: A second grader wanted to use a mix of words and drawings to create their fire triangle! Students came up with different natural and man created 'heat' ideas. Lightning, matches, torch were a few named.

Kids being kids though...they were more interested in learning how to properly make a campfire! Together we acted out some campfire guidelines (thanks, studied the 3 D’s of collecting fuel, found the appropriate sizes of fuel (tinder vs kindling) and finished our activities with races to create the ultimate campfire. Students were shown a few different techniques for building campfires (tee-pee, log cabin, lean-to) and chose their own style to build!

End of the Day ---

Hiking on our way to back to the parking lot to meet parents, the students discovered something odd. We found a recently deceased raccoon. We did not touch it or mess with it (a great moment to talk about being safe and respecting wildlife). They were just very curious as to what had happened to it and we began discussing different hardships that animals face in the winter (our next unit will be covering animals in winter!). Just like with garter snake earlier this year, this was a teachable moment for my class!

Here they are gathered around the raccoon asking questions. One student (a third grader) shared an observations with the rest of the group "I don't see any footprints leading up to the raccoon. Maybe it was dropped here? I don't see a lot of snow on it either."

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