Lessons from Mother Earth

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Submitted by: Hannah Hobbs
Grade level: ece,elementary
Core Competencies: communication,critical-thinking,positive-personal-and-cultural-identity,social-responsibility
Subject Disciplines: outdoor-education,indigenous-education

This lesson is designed to be used with the Pacific Spirit Park EcoKit, which can be reserved through the Pacific Spirit Park Society.


Suggested location: Camosun Bog, Pacific Spirit Park

Approaches to Learning: Respect, Reflection, Thinking in the form of application, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, communication, teamwork, appreciating diversity.

Approaches to Teaching: Place-based, child-led, experiential learning, conceptual understanding.

Responsibilities as Outdoor Educators:

  • Respect our learning environment, ask permission to use the bog and pick a limited amount of berries (take only what you need)

  • Discuss the boardwalk with children

  • Talk about the sensitivity of the sphagnum moss and why it is special to the bog

  • Remind children where we can/cannot walk

  • Remind children what can/cannot be picked

  • Use the book to remind children of all of the above plus ‘not picking too much’

Safety aspects:

  • Ensure what is picked is edible (if in doubt ask the Pacific Spirit Park Society)

  • Remind children of how to safely pick from the boardwalk without treading in the bog

  • Discuss safety around hot water and how to safely make and drink tea

Session outline: 

  • Read ‘Lessons from Mother Earth’ by Elaine Mcleod

  • Discuss safety concerns and ways to respect the space

  • Walk along the boardwalk and have children identify any plants/fruit mentioned in the book. Stop at the children’s bog area to identify and make connections between what they saw and what is in the book

  • Recap what they will pick, how much and how to respect the environment.  Children then pick some to be used later (blueberries, cranberries, loganberries, salmonberries, labrador tea etc).

  • Time to TASTE and CREATE: Spend time smelling, looking closely and tasting what has been collected. 

  • Children then create their own tea flavours for them to drink together as you re-read the book. 

  • Conclude as a group, reflect and discuss their experience. How is this tea similar/different to the tea they have had before? Who may have made tea like this before in the past? Make links to Indigenous Land and the Musqueam First Nations.

Guiding Questions:

Have you heard of any of the plants/fruit mentioned in the book?

Who has eaten them before?

What have we learnt from the book?


Can you make any connections to your life or to something you have learnt before?


How does the grandmother’s life differ from our life?


Session Resources:

  • ‘Lessons from Mother Earth’ by Elaine Mcleod

  • Containers for collecting fruit/flowers

  • Hot water

  • Mugs


Resources for Educators: 

Pre-read ‘Lessons from Mother Earth’ by Elaine Mcleod


Pacific Spirit Park Society Bog ECOKit

Looking for innovative WILD ABOUT Outdoor Learning ideas.
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