From Here to There

From Here to There

From Here to There

Subject area:
Health and Wellbeing, Social Studies,

Experiences and outcomes:
HWB 3 -30a, Soc 3 – 08a,
SCN 3 – 01a

The aim of this lesson is for your class to plan and then embark on their own mini journeys of discovery (as a school trip or during their holidays), along a suitable path in your locality.

Their journeys should include some or all of the following:

  • a local wood 
  • parkland
  • a coastal route 
  • a local path
  • a long distance path

Before you begin ask your class to look through the John Muir graphic novel and read the I Will Walk One Thousand Miles section where John Muir describes himself as follows:

‘I was like a man lost in the desert who finds an oasis and must drink. But I was thirsty for the whole world! I wanted to jump into it and immerse myself in its wonders. So I went on a thousand-mile walk to drink in the grand show of nature.

I’ll follow my nose. The wind is full of haunting, unknown scents...

Strange animal cries... beautiful new plants and flowers...’

Explain to your class that in Scotland, in April 2014, as part of the centenary of John Muir's death, and in order to celebrate his life, the John Muir Way was extended. This long distance path was especially created to encourage young and old to not only recognise and appreciate John Muir but also the native land he loved, by journeying across it in the same way as John Muir did, during his life.

Print the From Here to There Pupil Activity Worksheet so your class can complete this activity.

The information on the worksheet covers some of the places in Scotland that link to John Muir when he was a boy and/or when he returned to Scotland as an adult. This should provide ideas as to where their own mini journey might take place. Some of these locations may be near your school including:

  • John Muir Way 
  • West Highland Way 
  • Southern Upland Way
  • Around Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh 
  • Ayrshire & Arran 
  • Dumfries & Galloway
  • The Scottish Borders
  • Loch Lomond and The Trossachs 
  • The Highlands

If the above locations are not near your school then the website Paths for All should enable your pupils to do additional research in your locality

Journey Preparations

Once you have discussed and agreed with your pupils where their individual mini journeys will start and finish (during their holidays) or you have agreed where you will all go collectively as a school trip, begin the second part of this activity. Your pupils should make a list of 'preparations' for their journey (refer to the From Here to There Pupil Activity Worksheet).

Preparations should include:

  • Maps
  • research notes
  • suitable clothing/ equipment 
  • snacks 
  • paper and a pencil 

The Journey

During the journey your class should create an annotated map of the path they are following and write down, photograph or draw symbols to represent what they see on their journey, include the following:

  • Plants
  • Trees
  • Insects
  • Birds
  • Roads/ bridges
  • Buildings
  • Water - rivers, ponds, lakes, sea

Back in the classroom

Once the journeys have finished provide your class access to the following web links.

Background/ useful resources

Discover the types of trees observed on their mini journey 

Find out the names of any insects they came across on their mini journey 

Find out more or to identify any birds they discovered on their mini journey 

Reflecting on learning

Did learners know that traditionally maps included symbols for trees, bridges, houses, parkland, rivers etc rather than just roads which is common place today?

Learners can:

  • Make all the necessary safety preparations for a long distance walk
  • Research and plan a mini journey and create an annotated map of the route and/or a pod cast capturing the natural world experienced during the excursion

Further work/ useful resources

To expand this activity get your pupils to create a podcast of their walk describing what someone listening to their podcast and completing their mini journey should look out for, see and hear along the route.

Visit Paths for All for additional activity ideas that would compliment this work 

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