Year 5 were given a piece of descriptive writing that was based on an Indian folk tale, however, Miss Rowe converted the story to reflect our North-Eastern weather. The original tale inspired the Chipko Movement, whose members embrace trees to prevent the destruction of forests. The word Chipko means to hug trees. The children read the story in class using the language to help inspire their activities in the Forest School. Then it was outside into the crisp winter air to build a shelter from the elements. First they had to select a tree and describe it’s qualities, then they had to come up with a plan to incorporate that tree into the shelter.
From a structural point of view, they realised quite quickly that this can be quite a challenge. This “lean to” style of building requires choosing materials carefully to ensure stability. If the branches do not connect fully to the central trunk then the structure can appear robust but can fall easily. Looking for branches with forked ends is key to create a frame, layers can then be placed over the frame to create weather proofing. Practice makes perfect thought and with some perseverance they managed to create solid frames. Fully protecting from the elements would be the next stage to this this challenge