Grade 3

Exploring How Time in Nature Shapes Who We Are and What We Value

Core Competency Questions:

    • How can spending time in nature help me manage my feelings and emotions?
    • How does engaging with my environment make me more aware of the impact of my decisions, actions and footprint?
    • How can new experiences outdoors influence my values and shape my choices?

The Context:

Through a multidisciplinary approach, students were invited to explore how nature shapes who they are and what they value in the world around them. By increasing their connections to nature, the goal was for students to appreciate their role and relationship with the outside world. Students became familiar with the natural places around the school and found opportunities to engage with both native and cultivated plant life. Through the removal of invasive species, the planting of a garden, and food to table experiences, students began to take on the role of advocate and became aware of how their actions impact the world. A visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery, inspired students to identify and create artistic renditions of local flora and fauna. Students came away from this experience with a broader understanding of how our local community is part of a greater world in which we all share.


“The students felt empowered to make a difference in their local environment by learning about invasive plants and going out into the forest to pull ivy.  They loved being outdoors and felt a huge sense of accomplishment when we finished with a group photo with all our bags of ivy.  You could sense their excitement as they watched the plants growing in the garden and we were able to harvest and share them in a meal.”

Student Reflections

“Learning about invasive plants and doing the ivy pull made me happy to help protect the forest. I was surprised to see how quickly the ivy grows back.” – Carson

“I enjoyed planting daffodils the most. I liked planting the bulbs with my little buddy. The best part was when I got to see a photo of the daffodils blooming in the Spring, it made me feel happy.” – Ava

“My favourite outdoor learning activity was creating a sculpture out of natural objects I found in my garden. It was a lot of fun collecting and arranging the pine cones, leaves, rocks and flowers in a spiral pattern.” – James

Curricular Competencies

  • Science 3 – Applying First Peoples knowledge of  ecosystems including the interconnection between living and nonliving things and our shared responsibility to care for the local environment
  • Social Studies 3 – Making decisions and taking actions to develop understanding of the relationship between humans and their environment
  • Arts Education 3 – Connecting knowledge and skills to traditional and contemporary Aboriginal arts

ADST connections

  • Develop their skills and add new ones through play and collaborative work, by planning and growing a garden
  • Use materials and tools in a safe manner in order to complete the Ivy pull project

Key Questions

What part can I play to improve my local environment?
How can nature inspire me to be creative?
How does spending time in nature change the way I feel?
How does working together toward a shared goal build a sense of belonging?