“I have never been aware before of how many faces there are. There are quantities of human beings, but there are many more faces, for each person has several.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke
Dear Families and Friends,
This morning each of our students put on a new face. Transforming their images with special inks and tools, they applied and scraped away color. They could be anyone they wanted to be, exaggerating their features or ignoring them entirely. Who might you become?
Kids gave great thought to this question on a grander scale.We asked them to think of a way in which they could support nature in their neighborhoods, their schoolyard, or on their peninsula – by doing something they had never tried before. Here’s what they had to say: “Whenever I see a bird or a squirrel, I could feed it.” “I could make more birdhouses and nests.” “I could find sticks and warm objects to make animal houses in winter.” “When a duck is crossing the road, we should slow down.” “We could help stop ‘kill shelters,’ and instead foster dogs from animal shelters.” “If there was no trash can, I could throw an apple core into the woods so that an animal can eat it.” “I will stop picking too many flowers, because bees need them.” ” I could spread berries for birds in our yard.” “We can get rid of invasive plants and animals.” “Whenever I see a bird or squirrel, I won’t scare it.” “I could stop littering – sometimes I do.” “If you hunt, make sure the animal doesn’t suffer.” “Only kill one deer.”
Thinking about treating animals with compassion was a launch pad for considering how they’ll collaborate with kindergartners next week. We wrote down all of their ideas. “Make suggestions if they’re having trouble.” “Help them find the shape of the animal first before gluing on the pieces” “Show books and plan out the animal before gluing it on.” “Make sure all the wood and cardboard are the same height.” “If they make a mistake with the materials, tell them to add on.” “Ask them questions.” “Show them examples.”
Fourth graders have completed all the components of their own multi-dimensional project: an animal collagraph, a piece of writing, and a self-portrait – interweaving their humanity with the animal world. Now they will become teachers, sharing what they’ve learned with younger schoolmates. What better way to try their hand at giving back then to help another child gain a new set of skills?
We hope you’ll be on hand for fourth graders’ presentation of their work next week.
With anticipation, Nancy, Alanna, Alexis, Dee, Susan, and Avis