Students at the Olson Elementary School were among the first recipients of a donation from the Paul & Alice Olson Memorial Fund. The monies went toward sponsoring a school wide field trip to the Madison School Forest, which was the culmination of an integrated unit on the school forest that inspired the students at Olson Elementary to use reading, math, science, history and technology.
The children researched the School Forest by reading various pieces literature, including Paul’s book on the Forest. They journaled on the trip using their creative writing skills. They used math skills in measuring the area of an acre. They observed wildlife that crawls under a log. They observed flora of the Wisconsin. They learned about the history of a small section of land in Dane County. They took pictures, they spent computer time responding to the trip before and afterwards. They did all these things with an enthusiasm of enlightened eyes.
When the day comes for testing, which well of knowledge will the children take their answers from? Not only the formal teaching in a classroom, but also from the knowledge planted in their hearts by this kind of learning, Paul’s favorite way, “learning by doing.”