Stages of Flow Learning™
1. Awaken Enthusiasm - Children learn if the subject matter is meaningful, useful, fun, or in some way engages their emotions. Time spent in creating an atmosphere of curiosity, amusement, or personal interest is invaluable because once students' enthusiasm is engaged, their energy can be focused on the upcoming lesson or experience.
2. Focus Attention - Some students' minds can be compared to a team of wild horses running out of control. Without concentration no true learning can take place. The activities in this stage challenge the players in fun and creative ways. To successfully meet these "challenges" the players have to concentrate on one of their physical senses. In doing so, they become more calm, observant and receptive to their surroundings.
3. Direct Experience - Once students' interest and energy is awakened and focused, the stage is set for deeply experiencing nature. These absorbing, experiential activities have a dramatic impact that involves people directly with nature. These games help us discover a deep, inner sense of belonging and understanding. If people are to develop a love and concern for the earth, they need these direct experiences; otherwise, their knowing remains remote and theoretical and never touches them deeply.
4. Share Inspiration - This stage provides an interesting way for students to reflect together on what they have learned. In our fast-paced world, students and teachers alike often rush from one activity to another. Yet taking the time to reflect upon an experience can strengthen and deepen that experience. It need not take long. It can be as simple as responding to a few questions, writing a journal entry, or drawing a picture. Goethe said, "A joy shared is a joy doubled." Giving students the opportunity to share their experience increases the learning for the entire class. Sharing also brings everyone together and creates an uplifting atmosphere, making it much easier for the teacher to share inspirational ideas and stories.
Unnature Trail: Placing difficult-to-spot objects along a trail challenges children to become more attentive in the outdoors. One child said after playing this activity, “I saw a lizard blink thirteen feet away!”
In Tree Imagery, players “become” a tree and feel what its life is like
throughout the course of the year.