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Children at Learning Circle Preschool are encouraged to observe, investigate, and reflect on features of the natural environment all around us. Children benefit greatly when they have time to connect to nature in free and open-ended ways.

Our location at the foot of the Great Blue Hill offers us many opportunities to connect with our natural environment, and one animal that the children have had many opportunities to observe is the hawk.

Teachers are often suggesting that children look up as hawks travel over the fields near our school, and even over the playground itself. Many questions spontaneously arise as children observe: What are the hawks looking for? Where are their nests? What do hawks eat? How can they fly so high?

Because watching hawks is a feature of our everyday school experience, we invite Trailside Museum staff to the school just about every year for a presentation and close look. All the children – from our youngest preschoolers to kindergarteners – appreciate a more intimate look at an animal we see at a distance often, and can connect more deeply for the information shared because their spontaneous daily observations have been supported and encouraged.

Here are some photos of a recent Red Tailed Hawk presentation at the school for children 2.9-4.