‘I Love my World’ claims to be the book most used by qualified Forest School teachers, endorsed by no less than Michael Morpurgo. It is packed full of well thought-out, inspiring ideas for leading outdoor activities with children, teenagers and adults.
Holland’s teaching plans are empowering and precise, with clear instructions on how to prepare, what to expect, and how to lengthen or deepen a given activity. His tutorials range from detailed teaching on how to safely and reliably build fires or make shelters with groups of children, to artistic explorations of geography – ‘Aerial Maps’ and ‘Magic Map Spots’- and the application of science to the art of outdoor survival – ‘Filtering water with rubbish’. I’m sure I would have much preferred to learn about how to filter sand and grit out of water by digging in a boggy field and using a pair of old tights than by sitting in a science lab!
The book is self published, leaving a lot to be desired if a reader requires glossy photos to enhance the reading experience. The images are fairly poorly printed in black and white, although it is worth noting that to see the pictures in colour there is an e-version, or a link within the book to view a slideshow of images. Yet I am still left feeling that this is one of the most inspired and empowering textbooks I have come across for anyone – parents and teachers alike – wishing to use the great outdoors to educate about the environment.
I Love My World. Chris Holland; ISBN: 978-0-956156600; Wholeland Press: www.wholeland.org.uk; £15.95 HB; £3.96 e-book