The first lesson we have covered for the Earth Charter Preamble is the interconnectedness of all things on our planet. We started our lesson with a nature walk, exploring the different bugs and birds in our neighborhood. We tried to note different things these creatures would need for their everyday survival – trees and bushes for their homes, maybe rocks or the dirt for the bugs. It seems obvious how the creatures depend on the trees and soil for their needs – food, shelter, security. Kyri, our five-year-old, found it very interesting to discuss how the trees and soil need the creatures too. We don’t always think about how things like trees and dirt benefit (or suffer) from the creatures that share the spaceWe have also read several wonderful books which introduce the concept of all of us being connected, part of the big picture. We especially loved reading We Planted a Tree - we incorporated it into our weekly reading for school and Kyri had a greater appreciation for all the different ways that trees are important, all around the world. Food, shelter, shade, erosion control – so many ways that trees are useful! For the hands-on part of this lesson, Kyri picked out some plants to transplant into pots for our front yard. Kyri eventually settled on some English daisy and lavender (that one I might have suggested…). While she has been my garden helper in the past, planting her own plants was a first for her! We also took advantage of a homeschool day happening at a local Nature center. We spent the morning watching birds and even got to observe some of the smaller creatures, such as tadpoles and baby damselflies, that live in a marshy area. This was a wonderful adventure – and fit well after reading Pond Walk. We were able to discuss the different ways the inhabitants of a marshy area depend on each other for food, water and shelter. Interconnectedness is a great place to start in a broad education about taking better care of this planet and all of the inhabitants. We can’t be expected to care enough to want to make a difference in the world around us if we don’t understand how everything and everyone is connected, and how our actions (or inaction) makes a difference in so many ways.