With Imagination and Integrity

It is essential that we cast out fear and face the unknown… with imagination and integrity, with courage and a high heart.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt







Dear Families and Friends,

What a morning for second and third graders at Vinalhaven School! Minds at work, kids had oodles of ideas when we asked them what they could tell us about imagination.

 “It’s something that isn’t real.”  “You can imagine being in a desert.”  “You can think of something, then see it in your dreams.”  “When something leaves, you can imagine it’s still there.”  “If someone is being mean, you can imagine them being nice!”  “If you’re angry, you can imagine raindrop noises to calm you down.”  “When I am feeling sad, I imagine everything is cotton candy!”

LEAPS is about making connections,  and we wanted kids to begin linking nature and art. They closed their eyes and pictured themselves back at Perry’s Creek, having just visited there on Monday. Giant shelf-mushrooms, decomposing logs, bugs, leaves turning colors, old man’s beard lichens, doe tracks, squirrels chattering, and plants with berries came to mind. Documenting kids’ thinking is an important part of LEAPS, so we made a record of their ideas on the board and explained that everything they’d observed was part of their “Home Place” – Vinalhaven.

Then they became trees, sinking their roots into the earth and letting their branches sway in the wind, reinventing themselves as the seasons changed.

Each student received a new journal. They saw what artists had drawn from nature in their journals and were feeling courageous about what they could create. Having been big thinkers from the start, they took a different perspective for a moment. They imagined a “Home Place” for a bird, a kitten, a human, an airplane!



Nothing was “off the table!” And materials were there for the taking. Here they are  – courageous artists with all that they could imagine coming to life on the page!


“This is a woodpecker’s nest.”  “I made flying puppies. They breathe fire and have little dragon wings.”  “It’s a bird’s nest. These are worms and these are eggs. Can everyone feel the eggs? Because they are really soft.”  “I am a pilot and a traveler. I made an airplane with a runway and birds.”  “I imagined how a bird would design a nest, I added soft paper. I added a branch. They need leaves for padding!”






On day one of our journey – what adventurous spirits! Such bold designs! How appreciative Vinalhaven’s children are of the natural world!

Until next Tuesday ~ Nancy, Alexis, Sarah, and Avis

2 thoughts on “With Imagination and Integrity

  1. Dear Nancy, Alexis, Sarah and Avis,
    Thank you for coming! You were awesome! That was the best two hours of school. We hope you had fun. It was very fun for us and we loved it. We wish you came every day! We liked you all a lot. We will see you next week. We can’t wait!
    Second and Third Graders at Vinalhaven School

    1. You are all awesome! I am just starting to take a close look at your artwork in your journals and am writing back to each one of you! We loved hearing your ideas and seeing the unusual ways in which you used the materials we brought with us! We are very excited about next week! Thank you for your note and for all you did to make our first day together so amazing! Love, Nancy, Alexis, Sarah, and Avis

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