“If a tree falls in winter, there are other trees listening.” ~
On this final day of Thomaston Grammar School’s fourth grade program, kids found out from the book, A Hidden Life of Trees that, “Trees are able to learn from other trees.” When they sense a drought, for example, they know to share the available moisture. Like trees, humans are better off as a community.
Creating an environment where kids make art and think along with their peers is at the heart of LEAPS of IMAGINATION. How intriguing it was for kids to hear that their interactions are in synch with what trees do in forests.
Students made other important connections this morning. Exploring new printmaking methods, they looked at photographs of themselves and printed self-portraits to complement their tree prints.
Starting with an ochre tone, kids covered their plates with ink. Then they wiped away the color to highlight certain areas of their face. Next with two more colors, they added their most prominent features.
Each student also made a paper cut-out of a tree. In the exhibition at Frost Gallery you’ll see how their roots and limbs are woven together in a connective tissue that binds fourth graders as “a forest.”
Whether we are trees in a cluster, a cohort of students, or a community of adults, we are better when we act together.
We gathered in a closing circle and each child told the group what he or she is interested in taking a close look at next. Many are fascinated by prospective animal studies. In our month-long experience, fourth graders have bonded as artists, explorers, and now “tree keepers.”
We are extraordinarily grateful to Mrs. Richter and Miss K., to Mrs. Riley, and to everyone at Thomaston Grammar School for welcoming us into your community.
Without the funding from Maine Community Foundation and RSU 13 we would not have been able to give children the chance to learn from trees. THANK YOU! We look forward to seeing the film that 10th grader John Moon-Black is making about LEAPS, and thank him for taking the time to come to TGS today. ~ Nancy, Alanna, Susan, Dee, Cindy, and Emma