Snowshoeing in Paradise — PE! #SOL17



My elementary school spends a lot of time out of doors. We have a place-based focus, of sorts, and for good reason. Our campus of three elementary schools, as well as town public library, school administration building, and town recreation center, are idyllically located on 118 acres of land that includes farmhouses, 19th century summer estate buildings, and turn of the century residences. We are surrounded by woods and wetlands, trails and meadows, brooks, streams, and vernal pools.

Four years ago our PE teacher wrote a grant for snowshoes, so we could spend some additional time during our long (well some years are long) New England winters outside. When Mother Nature cooperates, we enjoy snowshoeing during our PE times. Not only did he purchase student sizes, but he also requested a handful of adult pairs. Many classroom teachers accompany their class on their adventures, forgoing their prep time. Who wouldn’t want to be there to share the experience? Our new Principal even opened up the opportunity to accompany a class to all support staff and non-classroom teachers. One year we were blessed with several amazing weeks of woodsy exploring, while last year, the snowshoes collected dust. This year we’ve managed to squeeze in one day of PE en plein air. These experiences have led to many wonderful classroom discussions, science explorations and inquiries, as well as writing opportunities. During a recent Writer’s Workshop, I sat down with my students and wrote this brief ode to our outdoor adventure.


White everywhere

Glaring bright from the sun

Pine scent surrounds us

As we cut through the woods

Visiting places we’ve never been

— Christie Wyman, 2017


This post is part of the annual month-long Slice of Life writing challenge organized by Two Writing Teachers. Join us!


16 thoughts on “Snowshoeing in Paradise — PE! #SOL17

  1. I LOVE this! One of our schools did this same thing many years ago. Those snowshoes took kids on adventures they wouldn’t forget. This post makes me want to investigate where they may have been tucked away. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your blog! I was hooked when I read the quote on your homepage. I could connect to it in several ways and it reminds me of a slice I just recently shared. Snowshoeing in Paradise, it’s perfect. I think it is a wonderful way to get outside. And thanks for sharing the poem at the end. I’m looking forward to reading your posts this month. ~Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I get to go snowshoeing with my students too, and we love it! I get to see a different side of them when we are out in the woods. And it feels so good to get out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Christie – You know how much I enjoyed learning about this adventure. I am hoping we can use grant money for this as well. What a gorgeous setting to live and teach. Thanks for igniting curiosity in our littlest kids.


  5. Your school sounds magical. Place based learning is an area that I want to delve into. Any suggestions of resources, books, ideas on how to start doing this in my own classroom?

    Liked by 1 person

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