This week was a mixed bag- we have been following our interests as a class like we always do. Our Monday/Wednesday friends talked about the sky, while our Tuesday/Thursday gang was all about the wetlands!
On Thursday, both classes came together and had a wonderful ‘Friendship Feast’. Everyone brought something to share to add to the feast. With families in tow, we hiked, ate, and enjoyed ourselves down by the barn! What a great thing to be thankful for!
On Monday, our attention moved to the sky. It was one of those days where it just felt like it may rain at any minute. With that in mind, we decided to ask ourselves some questions about the sky.
Why does it rain?
Where does it come from?
Why does it snow sometimes?
We used a jar full of water and shaving cream whipped on top to represent our ‘cloud’. We then used various drips of food coloring to represent precipitation. Once the precipitation moved through the cloud and became heavy, we watched as it ‘rained’ from the cloud. We talked about how clouds can form over bodies of water and become heavy with precipitation and that is how we get our rainy days!
We took a long walk to Bauer Preserve where we enjoyed the overcast weather. There we sat and had a snack and listened to a story called Why the Sky is Far Away by Mary Joan Gerson. This was a folktale about how the sky once resided low near the ground. The people could literally reach above their heads and grab a piece of the sky to eat! Can you imagine? The people used this advantage to live leisurely lives of art, music making and merriment. However, the people of the village became too jaded with the sky, taking more than they needed, and throwing heaps of it on the ground to rot! The sky, in turn, decided that it should move far away from the earth to protect its bounty. From then on, all the people of the town had to work very hard for their meals by farming and tending to the land and animals. It taught us a good lesson about what it means to be thankful for the things we have and to never take more of anything than we really need.
Speaking of thankful, on Wednesday, we headed down to the barn for some friendship stew! We added ingredients and put them in a big green pot over the fire. While it was cooking, we took a walk down to the new wetlands and found some ooey gooey algae!
Upon return, we were able to have some soup and tea, read the story Stone Soup by Marcia Brown and enjoy the bright, sunny morning together!
We made our way down to Bauer Preserve and had a chance to spend a little more time there. We found a wetland area as well as a frequent wetland dweller- a great blue heron! We would slowly creep toward the heron and it would slowly creep away. We did this for several minutes and we all got a pretty close view of the majestic bird!
In the wetlands, believe it or not, we found several living tadpoles. During the springtime, the pond is absolutely filled to the gills with frogs in all stages of metamorphosis, however, we were not expecting to see any in the fall! We found ones that were ‘as big as a big gummy bear’ as one child put it. We found out that those big tadpoles are actually bullfrog tadpoles. They must have been so big because we know that bullfrogs can get to be pretty enormous!
Our hands and feet were pretty chilly so it was a welcomed surprise that Ms. Tara had the tea kettle. We were able to make tea way out in the wetlands. We had berry tea as well as apple cinnamon in a side by side taste test. Some were generally fond of both teas, while others liked the warm flavored water as more of a hand warmer!
On Thursday, we all came together for a little story and soup! We met down at the lower barn with each student bringing a little something to share. We enjoyed slicing and eating apples and grapes, munching on veggie straws, digging in on cornbread and slurping some soup! We read the story Stone Soup by and talked about the joys of giving!
While our soup cooked on the fire, we took a fun walk through the wetlands with the families. We even made a little bit of our own path to head back to our fire!
Once we were back, we had our snacks, played catch, climbed on hay bales and had a relaxing morning!