This week’s theme:
Adventures to the outdoors – Mountains
This week’s colouring in sheet:
Download and print this week’s colouring sheet here.
Activities for the week…
Fact of the week: The Cairngorms are a mountain range in the eastern Highlands of Scotland
Sing along with ‘She’ll be coming round the Mountain’ – come up with your own verses… what will she be doing next? Give us your best ‘yee haw’s!
Hike along to ‘500 miles’!
Nan Shepherd (born 1893) wrote the mountain memoir, ‘The Living Mountain’, based on her experiences of hill walking in the Cairngorms. The Scottish landscape and weather played a major role in all of her writing. Shepherd would hike for days, foraging for berries and drinking from burns. She swam naked in lochs, trod barefoot on heather and, believing that “no one can know the mountain completely who has not slept upon it”, regularly slept out from May to October.
Come up with actions for hiking, eating berries, drinking from streams, swimming in lochs, walking in heather, and sleeping outside.
Find the Cairngorms on a map.
Learn some Scottish Gaelic words. Scottish Gaelic is a language that was spoken in Scotland as a native language until its replacement of English. Though almost everyone in Scotland can speak English, Gaelic is taught as a subject in some schools and remains spoken by around 50,000 people today.
Good Morning = madainn mhath (Pronunciation: matin va)
Thank You = Tapadh leit (Pronunciation: ta’pa let)
I’m Sorry = tha mi duilich (Pronunciation: ha mi doolich)
Bye = mar sin leibh (Pronunciation: mar shun leev)
Hill-walking was Nan Shepherd’s great love; her collection of poetry ‘In the Cairngorms’ expresses her love of Scottish nature, and her work is clearly written by somebody has climbed the mountains often and truly knows them.
Come up with actions, signs, drawings, and sounds to go with Nan’s poem about the mountain environment.
Poet Merryn Glover devised a new way to write poems that she called “The Cairngorms Lyric”. She did this in her role as writer in residence for the Cairngorms National Park.
She states that to write a Cairngorms Lyric Poem there are 3 rules:
Rule 1: A Cairngorms Lyric poem must have 15 words. [The 15 comes from facts about the Cairngorms National Park – it covers five local authorities, five of Scotland’s ten highest mountains are found here, and five of Scotland’s most iconic rivers flow out of it – so three times five is 15.]
Rule 2: The poem has to include an element of nature found in the Cairngorms park (think mountains, animals, weather, environment, rivers, sky, stars).
Rule 3: The poem needs to include one word of non-English origin, so a word from another language, or a traditional local Gaelic, Scots, or Pictish word – if you use the word “loch” you have one (or see activity 2)!
Write your own Cairngorms Lyric Poem following the rules above.
Or, if you paint onto white paper, tearing a ragged edge can create a snow top mountain look when the white paper is revealed like this. You could add white chalk to create more snow on your edges, or add salt to your water colours to create a frosty mountain top look like this.
Listen to this music and try some improvised dancing along to the music exploring how you think water, heather and birds would move.
Pretend you have binoculars, or make some paper binoculars. What can you see from your view at the top of your mountain? Can you see anything through your binoculars that’s blue like the water? Purple like the heather? Green like the grass? White like the snow? Brown like the earth? Collect the items together and make a tabletop mountain colour-scape.
Imagine something you would be able to see far away through your binoculars. Pick something to draw from your imaginary mountain top view.
It gets very cold towards the summit of mountain tops. When high mountain rivers and streams become frozen they make magnificent frozen shapes. Frozen water makes swirling shapes, curling shapes, jagged shapes and spiky shapes.
Draw spikes, swirls, curls and jagged edges in the air with your finger. Can you then draw these same shapes with your whole body, moving in a slow icy dance while listening to this icy music.
Being at the top of a mountain can affect your ability to see in a few ways. A blizzard of snow can fill in your footsteps, and you won’t be able to see where you’ve been, or be able to follow the steps of the person in front of you. Being surrounded by nothing but the bright whiteness of glistening snow can cause a phenomenon called ‘Snow Blindness’. Cooling temperatures can cause mist and fog patches, where tiny droplets of water hanging in the air, making it hard to see anything in front of you. All of these factors can cause people to get lost when they’re mountain hiking.
Imagine you can’t see where you’re headed due to the mountain mists. To make it safely down the mountain get used to using only your other senses. Try calmly dancing with your eyes closed or with the lights down to this music. Try listening to the music with your eyes closed. In a chair carefully stretch your arms around you – can you sense where you are?
The Northern Lights are visible on clear nights in the Cairngorms. Nights in this part of Scotland are amongst the darkest in the UK, meaning the deepest depths of the galaxy shine far brighter here than in towns and cities.
Imagine watching the Northern Lights from the top of the Cairngorm Mountains. Act out with your arms in the air the swirls of colour filling the night sky – the wisps of green, the swish of blue, the flash of pinks, the swirls of purples, the bands of yellow, and the twinkle of stars.
Pick one of the Northern Lights colours and with your hand imagine painting the room around you with that magical colour of light.
With coloured chalk, cotton wool to smudge, and a cardboard mountain cut-out, create your own Northern Lights artwork.
Naturalist John Muir once wrote this about how happy climbing mountains makes him feel:
‘Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.’
Draw a collage of some of the happy things he mentions, and/or some things that make you happy about being outdoors.
Why not take a photo of any of the activities you’ve tried this week and share it with us? You can share it on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put it online for you!