Multi-grade Forest Walks

Lucerne Elementary School Mental Health & Well-being SD010 School Level Elementary Interior Health Authority Public

It all began when Lucerne Elementary School asked the question, “How will the experience of a forest walk once a week in a multi-age grouping help the overall wellbeing of elementary school students?” This project did not require a grant but merely a commitment from the grade K/1 and grade 4/5/6 classes to spend a few hours every Tuesday walking through the woods.

What was the impact of your project? Educators involved in the weekly forest walks reported that they had an amazing impact on the youth involved. They said that they enabled students to gain a greater appreciation for the outdoors, as well as a broader understanding of the natural world. Furthermore, by including multiple grades, bonds were formed between older and younger students and all groups looked forward to opportunities to spend time together. This was especially important for the younger students who then had two older youth in the school that they knew and could go to for help. One of the main pieces of advice that Lucerne Elementary School has for other schools is to plan collaboratively – “each person on our teaching team brings unique perspectives and expertise with the result of [the project] being so much more than any of us could facilitate on our own.”