Outside our windows, all around us, all the time, something is happening. Because of the tilt of the earth, and our distance from the equator, my place in the world has four distinct seasons. Sure, the seasons blend and flow together. Late winter and early spring meld together into days of raw, wet, and cold, sprinkled with a balmy bit of sunshine to tempt you with what is to come. Late fall always offers up a few snowflakes and bitter cold to temper our bodies for winter. Each season, though, offers its own weather patterns, and the earth around us responds accordingly. Celebrating the seasons, and what marks them for what they are, is one of the ways my students come to see and know the world around them.
In New England in early to mid-fall, the maples and oaks twinkle and wink their yellows, reds, oranges, and browns at us. The air feels crisp and cool and sweaters are cozy until the sun comes out and shines warmly over all. Nature dons her most brilliant outfit, as if she’s helping us squirrel away bright memories to shore us up as we face the dark days of December ahead. As part of our study of plants, we observed the different types of trees on our school grounds and how autumn effects them.
As part of a home to school project we collected leaves. Inspired by Leaf Man, by Lois Ehlert, and Look What I Did with a Leaf! by Morteza E. Sohi, we created Leaf Creatures. Big catalpa leaves created bodies, brilliant sumac leaves turned into feathers, curled ferns became eyes. A beautiful way to study different leaves!
Gardens are withering and browning under first frosts and pumpkins shine brightly from farm stands and supermarket bins. We marked the season by making our own pumpkin patch.
At the halfway point between the first day of fall and the first day of winter (a.k.a. Halloween), we held The Day of the Pumpkin.
We grouped our seeds into tens, and then into hundreds.
One classmate’s estimate for how many seeds our pumpkin held was 1,010…only five away from the actual total of 1,015!
I love each season as it comes. Each blankets the world in different sights, smells and textures, and as each winds down, just when I’ve had enough snow, or heat, or humidity, or mud, we welcome the change of a new arrival. So much to see. So much to explore. So much to celebrate!