Cortes Island School just started its new twice weekly program called Nature As Teacher, providing unique experiential learning to the students, and is enthusiastically seeking guest presenters.

Dayna Davis, teacher and program facilitator, told CKTZ News the new program is possible thanks to special funding from the Campbell River School District. The funding is partially in response to parental requests to better address multiple-age classroom needs, which are typical of a rural school.

The program draws on inspiration from artists such as Andy Goldsworthy. Photo courtesy of Dayna Davis.Davis and the groups of children she is guiding have selected areas of adjacent forest where each student will observe their own tree within the larger ecosystem for the duration of the school year, among other outdoor projects. “Everything that I do takes us outdoors and is hands-on and experiential,” said Davis, who was a classroom teacher at the school for 10 years prior to this role. She is also weaving in Indigenous stories and teachings alongside the BC school curriculum.

Already set to partner with the Cortes Island Museum, Davis is open to any community members wishing to share their naturalist kills and knowledge, collections of feathers or nests, outdoor games or art ideas, and will help set up the lesson plans. She can be reached at

The older students will be doing projects related to their biology and earth sciences curriculum. Photo courtesy of Dayna Davis.

Rocks with naturally occurring markings which look like English letters are laid out in alphabetical order.


An example of a student's project on hummingbirds with a hand drawn picture and observations.