Hello Dear Learning Community,
I feel lucky that I get to be among the first to send something to your inbox at the start of the week, I love sending out these emails with ideas of what we could be learning together--even if the activities don't get done, and you are swept up in something more inspiring, just getting to email you and say "hi" is breaking up these weeks with news of a different theme celebrated this season. The plant life cycle. When I saw this on the docket I thought, "blah...come on give me something more thrilling like red breasted nuthatches, or raccoons (which I am seeing like all the time right now...they may take over the city with less people around--they are walking about like they own the place). But then I started looking at plants, and in detail with Paisley and I have been blown away by the simple miracle that they are and I am looking forward to seeing what you all get up to with plants this week and this season. So basically if we were in the program we would love to see kids be able to different parts of the plant. But really we, the main thing with this week is to just show an appreciation for what comes from a tiny seed planted in the ground. Like magic it just pops up, and to be able to watch those stages never gets old.
1. Yoga Poses for the Plant Life Cycle
(parents, I would give you gold stars for participating in this)
1. Down in the dirt, under the surface, a seed finds a safe place to be, and is ready to absorb nutrients: sit on your bottom, put hands behind thighs, recline slightly, and there you have your hole in the ground (boat pose)
2. Cover with dirt: Laying on the ground in a flat pose (corpse pose)
3. Sprinkle down water on the ground: Stand, with feet firm on the ground, arms up above, and then bring the water down to the ground (forward fold)
4. Roots start to establish: Sit down, balled up, and slowly push the legs out until they are straight
5. Now the stem starts to shoot out slowly: Squat down and make yourself as small as you can be, slowly uncurl and make yourself tall (mountain pose)
6. From the nodes come branches (arms out with fists for buds)
7. From the buds come leaves! Uncurl your fingers to make leaves
8. Now we need flowers: Balance in tree pose on one foot, bring hands to center, and then slowly raise them up and push out into a beautiful flower!
2. Watch a Bean Grow
A fun experiment to see a seed grow in the window:
- Take a paper towel, fold it into thirds, dampen, and slide it into a clear glass
- Press a bean seed into the towel, so it is between the glass and the paper towel
- Put the glass in the window, bean out
3. Listening to Music
- This is perfect for indoors and when you want (or need) to spend time to yourself.This song is looooooong, and could even be an amount of time that needs to pass for some reflection.
- Put on "Spring" from the "Four Seasons" by Vivaldi (we did this for Fall and it was priceless) and have them move like a plant rooted to the ground in Spring
1. Plant Diagram Collage (picture attached from Ms. Reanne!)
- Finding a weed that is available, pull out root and all to get a good look at the different parts of the plant : primary and secondary roots, stem, nodes, leaves, flowers
- Gather materials that resemble different parts of the plant (stringy grass for root, leaves, pine cone flake for seed, ect) -- I did a scavenger hunt with Paisley looking for the different elements and it was super fun.
- Then using glue and paper/cardboard you assemble a plant from root to flower out of what you have!
Attached to this email are some lovely pictures of Ms Reanne making leaf prints with plants, a hammer, a piece of cloth, and a flat surface
- All you need to do is put a plant arrangement under a cloth and smash with a hammer until you see prints coming through ---very therapeutic to be sure.
- If you would like to display, you could take toilet paper rolls and glue the cloth to each roll, string a piece of yarn through and hang. because they will be beautiful!
3. Plant Concentration Memory Game: (so fun)
from "Coyote's guide connecting with nature" p 432
This game is all about observation and recreating from memory
1. Walk around your area with your kiddos and have them help collect bits of fallen plant life off the earth floor
2. Have them turn the other way, while you arrange a picture/design with collected items, then cover your design with a bandanna, and invite your kid to swivel around
3.Tell them that they are going to get 30 seconds to look at what you have created, they are going to take a "picture" with their brain, and then they are going to have time to go and recreate that same picture in their own space
5. Now if there are in a panic because they don't remember the details then go ahead and lift a corner of the bandanna to show them quickly again
6. When everyone is done, remove bandanna altogether and have them compare
* when the kiddos get good at this, they can start taking the turn of design/picture
4. Sit Spot: Watch the Plant
At my sit spot I was thrilled. I was watching a camellia tree in our yard, which Sam has been pointing to SO often and yelling "coon!!" for "raccoon", cause we saw one once. But this time I saw a Grey Squirrel and he was picking up the flowers and licking the bottom of the large blossom. Paisley was nearby, and excited I told her, and she suggested that he was after the sweet nectar.
Have fun, stay safe, and thrive!