Thursday, April 1, 2010

Signs of Spring (Ds#2)

Our first project the we will be spending some time on is Signs of Spring.  I packed the loupes, the camera, some scissors, and some plastic bags and headed into the back yard.  Ds#3 looked at at collected the greatest variety of samples (living or not.)  While looking at moss, he described it as a green sweater on a rock--he may be a natural at this analogy business!

Ds#1 collected only a few samples, having more fun getting his feet wet while examining the moss and slime in the abundant water from the recent extensive downpours.  He was too allured by the beautiful weather to do any sort of writing or drawing (tomorrow morning he will.)

Ds#2 was the most fascinated by the slime.  He even returned with a container to collect some in order to more closely examine it and perform experiments on it. (Maybe tomorrow, too.)

When we got back to the house I asked them all to examine buds.  Ds#2 started with this  Mountain Laurel.  At first he looked at it with the MicroMax but the magnification was so great that you could not take in the entire smallest distal tip of the bud, so he changed to the 10x loupe.

I asked all of them to think of what else it their objects looked like.  Universally, all three boys came up with other plants for analogies so I asked them to think of non-plant analogies.  Ds#2 was stuck so I asked him to list some adjectives.  After a few he started coming up with analogous objects.

A branching tree
Corn flakes
Split string
A bent fork, pink and rusty

After drawing his bud, I reminded him about the Haiku poetry he heard about at the Private Eye workshop.  He noticed his fork analogy had exactly 7 syllables.  I asked him what he was looking at. "A mountain laurel bud,"  he said; that quickly became the beginning.  "What does it do?" I asked, and that became the third line.

Mountain laurel bud,
A bent fork, pink and rusty
To make more branches.

He was so thrilled with himself that he continued to make all kinds of haiku poems for the rest of the afternoon.

Next will be for them to choose another bud to compare and contrast with the first one.


  1. Wonderful! Love the new blog too!

  2. Thanks--we are really enjoying it! For whatever reason, maybe the hands-on part of using the loupes, has really made our nature study come alive.

  3. I am really looking forward to reading what you do. I like the first lesson. Maybe we can get out tomorrow before we get the next rain day!