This is a story about three friends hiking through a forest exploring their surroundings. Taking time to observe what they come across, Wren, El, and Hattie, turn what might normally be ‘just a hike’ into an excellent learning opportunity that could inspire others to do the same.
Why use this book?
- Showcases the benefits of curiosity in young people, along with the importance of observing one’s surroundings, and the advantages (learning opportunities) that may come from observing animals.
Animal Welfare Considerations:
- In a few of the illustrations Hattie is not holding onto Bean’s leash. For the safety of everyone (people, pets, and wildlife) it is important to keep dogs on their leash while hiking.
Ask your Students:
- Have you ever been on a hike? If so, what did you see?
- If you could hike anywhere in the world, where would you choose? Why?
- What are other ways to discover our surroundings other than hiking? Riding bikes, canoeing, reading books, watching movies/documentaries, looking at photos, speak with someone who is familiar with the area, etc.
- What are some other fun ways to enjoy nature?
- Why should we protect our environment?
- Is it safe to eat berries you find in the wild? Explain.
- How do you think Wren, El, and Hattie felt once they climbed the mountain?
- How do you feel when you accomplish something?
- Sketchbook – Go through Wren’s sketchbook together as a class, paying close attentions to all the detail Wren has included. Have students create their own sketchbook of what they see on a walk,, playing outside, etc. Encourage students to include both animals and the environment in their book. Remind students that they will come across things that they are unfamiliar with (an animal track, type of tree/bush, etc.) and that is great! Encourage them to sketch unknown things, and try and discover what they are.
- Hiking Safety 101 – As a class, brainstorm a list of dos and don’ts that people follow when hiking and/or walking in nature. Encourage students to think of safety for animals, people, and the environment. Students can turn the list into a pamphlet to take home and share with their family! Dos – stick to designated trails, keep dogs on a leash, pick up after your dog, let someone know where you are going, look for signs of wildlife, make noise to avoid surprising wildlife, research the area, wear appropriate clothing, etc. Don’ts – disturb wildlife/environment, pick flowers/leaves off trees, eat berries, litter, hike alone, etc.
Additional Resources Related to Book:
- For a comprehensive hiking safety list, visit the Alberta Parks website.