The children decided that the first week of spring was decidedly non-springlike, and several insisted that it certainly could not be spring with such cold, snowy weather. The bitter wind kept us inside one day, but we were grateful to be able to get out the rest of the week. We made the best of it, continuing to plow around the road they shoveled through the snow last week, blocking roadways, clearing them again, and making new shortcuts. There were lots of running races and some games of chase and superheroes. Last week we were so excited to discover a bench buried under the snow, and we had a lot of fun with it this week. We even noticed that there was a smiley face carved into the seat and spent some time discussing who it could be. Thank you so much to James Savage for making such a fun sitting spot!
Indoor recess . . .
For Monday art we read about the French artist Henri Matisse, who made many different types of art including paintings, sculpture, costumes, and gauche cut outs. Toward the end of his life, when he could no longer stand to paint, he started “drawing with scissors,” creating some of his most famous works of art, such as La Gerbe (The Sheaf), and The Snail. The children tried their hand at “drawing with scissors,” cutting shapes from colored paper and pasting them into patterns.
Our European adventures continued with a visit to Scotland with Gerry Tobin, a Scotland native and former owner of Sunnybrook, and Art Hammond. Gerry showed us where Scotland is on the map of Europe, and we listened to her accent. She read some Scottish poetry to us, which we really could not understand, though it sounded quite lyrical. She then told us to close our eyes and took us on an adventure through the green countryside of Scotland, as she did with her family when her sons were young, hiking 100 miles through the lushness of the rainy island country. Gerry and Art wore their family kilts, explaining how each family has their own tartan, so you know which clan people are from by the tartan they are wearing. They then treated us to some beautiful Scottish music. Gerry introduced and played her violin, while Art played his three flutes, including the small piccolo. His flutes are quite old, one is 150 years old and the piccolo is almost 200 years old, both made of wood. We listened to some soft calming music, then we marched around the room to in time with some marching music. It was a wonderful visit!
The afternoon students watched a video of some Scottish Highland dancing. We listened to the bagpipes playing, and the children tried jumping and moving their arms and feet in the style of the dancers. We then watched some Spanish flemenco dancing, and dressed up in scarves to resemble the fancy ruffled skirts. The following morning everyone watched the Scottish dancing and gave it a try. It was fun jumping and moving our feet and arms to the music.
Susan brought her modern flute in on Wednesday, which is metal rather than wood, and demonstrated how to assemble and play it. She allowed everyone to take a turn attempting to blow across the mouth hole, which was a very tricky thing to do! (She cleaned it very thoroughly between uses!)
We read the story Too Much Noise by Ann McGovern, about Peter, a man who thinks his house is too noisy because the bed creaks, the floor squeaks, the leaves swish, and the kettle hisses. He goes to a wise man, who tells him to get some animals, which he does, and his house gets even noisier. When the wise man tells him to let the animals go, he finds that the house noises are not so loud after all. We then played the Tibetan singing bowl and listened silently until we could no longer hear it.
The Cat in the Hat came with Andrea and A.O. Kelly from Believe in Books on Thursday. Everyone was full of excitement and energy, so before they arrived we did some jumping. Some of us had a lot of endurance and jumped up and down through two full songs before the Cat in the Hat arrived! We eagerly welcomed them, and A.O. read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. We had a discussion about trying new things and how sometimes we think we won’t enjoy or like something before giving it a chance, but find that when we do try something new we might discover something we really like. Everyone gave a hug, high five, or wave to the Cat in the Hat, then chose their very own book to take home.
For science on Friday we have moved on to a study of the human body. We discussed what we notice about people when we look at them – what do we see on the outside? They listed skin color, hair color, facial features, and size. We read about skin, the largest organ on the human body, and it’s role of holding the body together and keeping out germs. We learned about melanin, which is responsible for skin color, and we looked at a map of the world showing skin colors of indigenous peoples around the world. We observed that the closer to the equator people are, the darker the skin color. We talked about how it is always hot near the equator, and as you wear fewer clothes when it is hot, peoples bodies adapted to protect themselves in these climates. We learned that melanin acts as a natural sun screen, which helps prevent absorption of UV rays. We looked at our skin, eye color, hair color and length, and everyone colored a picture of themselves.