Student Led Solo Walk

From IslandWood Education Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Lesson Summary: 

Students create up to three solo walk cards using watercolors and markers. For the text on the card, students will respond to prompts provided by the instructor. At the end of the week, the field group will be able to walk through one another’s IslandWood experience and reflect by reading the cards during a solo walk on Thursday morning.  This is an extention of the Solo Walk Lesson.  

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to...

  • Identify a goal for their week at IslandWood that will help them strive towards
    being a steward of their community and/or the environment
  • Write in the own words about a role they have in helping ecosystems
  • Reflect in writing and in conversation with their peers about the experience of
    walking alone on a trail


  • Formative:  Introduce the lesson by facilitating a solo walk with instructor-made cards. As students arrive at the end of the solo walk, check-in with each student
    individually by asking them what they thought of their solo experience on the trail.
    Once all the students and the chaperone with the cards has returned, lay out all
    the solo walk the students saw on the trail and invite students to pick up their
    favorite card and share with a buddy or the whole group why they liked it.
  • Summative: At the end of the solo walk, debrief the experience by asking students
    to draw connections between the cards they made and the cards made by their
    peers. Encourage students to elaborate on their ideas from their solo walk to
    share about the goals for their time at IslandWood and about how they have come
    to know themselves as stewards of communities and the environment.

Age Group: 4-6th grade

Venue: See Lesson for Specifics


1 watercolor palette/student

1 watercolor brush/student

paper towels

up to 3 8 ½” X 3” watercolor papers/student


1 large piece of butcher paper

IslandWood field journals


Tuesday 45 minutes

Wednesday 15-20 min

Thursday 1 hour 

The Lesson Plan


Create or choose a set of solo walk cards to use with students. Include cards that encourage students to notice ecosystems with their senses and cards with ideas and/or quotes about communities, stewardship, goal setting, and personal growth.


Explain how the solo walk activity will work (i.e. students start one at a time with 2 minutes in between, do not move the cards, you will be able to see the next card from the card you are standing at, etc.). Mention that students will be making their own solo walk cards later in the week. Now is their opportunity to notice the design and words on the cards and start thinking about what they want their cards to look like.



  1. Early in the week, involve students in a solo walk with cards made by an instructor. Be intentional about the variety of cards that you choose so that students are encouraged to use their senses to explore ecosystems and are encouraged to think about how they are part of human communities.
  2. Choose prompts you intend for students to respond to when they make their solo walk cards. This can help you frame your week and help you tie it all together for transfer of learning on Thursday. Example prompts: What is a goal you have for your week at IslandWood? In what ways will you continue being a steward in your home community?
  3. On Tuesday, provide time for students to design their solo walk cards with watercolor. Encourage them to include details in their painting about ecosystems as this will help jog their memory about their experiences at IslandWood when they are walking alone and reflecting on Thursday morning.  
  4. Leave watercolors to dry. Don’t forget to make sure that students have written their names on their solo walk cards so that they will be able to find them again on Wednesday. You can have them write their name on the front or the back, depending on if you want their cards to be anonymous on Thursday.
  5. Late in the week, provide time for students to write their responses to your prompts on their solo walk cards. They can use the markers in your crate pencil pouch or you can use other art materials if you have them.
  6. Use student solo walk cards on Thursday morning to facilitate a second solo experience on a trail at IslandWood. This experience can inspire a debrief about stewardship and any of the IslandWood pillars. Double plan the experience so that students have something to work on at the beginning/end of their solo walk.   


When students return from the their solo walk, provide them their journal and pencil. Explain that they should now reflect on their solo experience by drawing or writing in their journal. Example prompts: How did you strive to reach your goal this week at IslandWood? What will you share with your family about your IslandWood experience? How did it make you feel to read about your teammates’ goals and experiences this week?

Transfer of Learning:

What activities did we do this week to help you strive to reach your goal? How did reading about your teammates’ goals and ideas about stewardship help you start reflecting about your experience at IslandWood? In what ways was your solo experience today different than on [insert day on which you did the first solo walk with your field group]? Which card did you connect with the most?



  • Revisit the Community Agreement – How did we do this week meeting our team’s goals and expectations?
  • Create a Path Map – What did we do this week to help us embrace adventure? Live and lean in community? Connect with place? Help the environment? How will you continue practicing stewardship when you return to your home community?
  • Solo Walk Poem
  • Solo SitSolo sit
  • Solo Walk Cards

' 'Created by Alex Guest on April 4, 2017