Pre-K Students Go on a Quest to Find Woodland Fairies and Gnomes

Have you ever been on a hike through the forest and seen something that you could not explain? If you caught a glimpse of a Ponderosa Pine Fairy climbing a tree would you believe your eyes? Or what if you saw a Jeffrey Pine Gnome gathering pine nuts? If you’ve been looking for answers, perhaps you should look to of the Pre-K students at TEA.

In our “Keepers of the Forest” learning expedition, the Pre-K students explore the magical world of woodland fairies and gnomes as they study the coniferous trees in the forests of Lake Tahoe. They learn about the properties and characteristics of coniferous trees while learning where exactly to find the elusive woodland fairies and gnomes.

Now going on a quest to find fairies and gnomes requires an immense love and respect for nature. Fortunately TEA Pre-K students are nature kids and have developed very unique skills throughout the year. Through meeting and working with experts from the US Forest Service, the students develop an appreciation for the beauty around them while becoming stewards of our national forests. They learn that if they leave no trace, the fairies and gnomes will be better able to take care of us when we visit our forests. The students also learn how to navigate the woods while staying safe. Visiting experts from Tahoe Search and Rescue teach the students how to stay found in the woods and how to survive should they become lost. Students learn how to properly pack backpacks with appropriate supplies and the basics of reading maps.

At the end of the learning expedition, each student creates a quest in the forest just behind the school. Each quest features a different coniferous tree that is accompanied by a matching fairy or gnome whose dress encompasses the characteristics and properties of that tree. Each quest also includes an illustration by the student that includes a tip for staying safe in the woods!

The next time you take a walk in the forests of the Lake Tahoe basin, be sure to keep your eyes open. And if you treat the forest with enough love and respect, the woodland fairies and gnomes just might pop and say hello.