On a lovely Spring day, WSP’s Fourth grade went tracking. We discovered many prints local animals had left behind in the mud. Several of these animals the children had learned about during the course of our animal block. The students were especially excited to have come upon a real animal story that, without evidence of footprints, would have been entirely obscured from view!
On the south-west corner of Cresheim Valley Road and Germantown Avenue they found the story of a large dog having chased a deer over the grass. The deer had slid into the mud then ran while the dog pursued it.
We decided to make castings of the footprints of this story’s main characters- the deer and the dog, so with a little plaster of Paris and twenty minutes waiting time we accomplished our goal. Next week, we’ll take our positive molds and press them into fresh plaster of Paris so that each child will be able to take home his or her own specimens.
Casting tracks is an activity that everyone will be able to do during this muddy time that will promote thinking about animal stories that aren’t immediately visible to the eyes but only to the imagination through signs.
Cynthia Way, Fourth Grade Teacher, The Waldorf School of Philadelphia