Dear Families and Friends,
It was a cold day for our explorers, yet Thomaston’s fourth graders were unstoppable. We knew that this group was observant, but when we asked them what they’d noticed on their way in, we were more than impressed with their responses. “We saw works of art, sculptures, ice, a giant wooden woman. Everything’s wood. There’s an elephant sculpture. You can go into the sculptures because there are ladders and stairs. There are peek holes in the door that are beautiful. There’s a ‘walnutty’ thing and an unpainted llama over the fireplace. It looks like a lot of stuff is old.”
Explorers always have questions, and ours wanted to look deeper. Here’s what children wanted to know: “How old are the sculptures?” ” If it’s not wood, what’s it made of?” “Why did the artist make them that way?” “What’s inside the sculptures?” They were ready to see for themselves.
Even though there was just a bit of snow on the ground, it wasn’t long before kids discovered footprints. They were quick to offer theories about which animal might have left its imprint. Was one from a deer? Another from crows? An owl? Mice? We wondered if we would be able to identify them.
Susan gave us clues, and then challenged kids to look at a print she’d created. When they’d identified the marks, they invented a story from her giant strip of printed tracks.
On the first day of LEAPS, kids told us that artists are explorers too. “They try new things, look around them, discover new plants and animals, wander around looking for adventure, and really examine things closely.” At the end of the morning fourth graders made stamps of tracks to include on a larger work of art. When they tested them out, they were convinced that they’re artists too.
As we contemplate tomorrow’s snow, imagine Thoreau’s experience when he wrote: “Here is the distinct trail of a fox stretching across the pond. Now I am curious to know what had determined its graceful curvatures, its greater or less spaces and distinctness, and how surely they were coincident with the fluctuations of some mind, why they now lead me two steps to the right, and then three to the left.”
Here’s to our ongoing adventure~ Nancy, Sarah, Susan, Cindy, and Avis