Connect the Dots

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” ~ Steve Jobs

Dear Families and Friends,

South School’s fifth graders were quick to connect the dots. And after two snow days and a late-start day we were happy to be back in their classroom.  We asked kids to share their thoughts on why trees need birds and birds need trees. One student cleverly noted that when birds eat they digest what they’ve consumed and “recycle it.”  Birds have the power to seed new trees. Others added that “Trees help camouflage birds to protect them,” and “They provide oxygen so that living things can breathe.” It was clear to all that birds and trees are inseparable!


Kids were ready to take a LEAP into printmaking. Their first step was to incise a piece of foam using their bark drawing as a reference. Kids thought carefully about whether to print their tree in white or brown.



Learning to roll out the ink and apply it to their plate came easily to fifth graders. Positioning the plate on paper, they repeated the printing process multiple times and watched each real-life image appear on paper.


The second part of the morning was devoted to making bird collagraphs. This required another kind of thinking. Using wood pieces, cork, bark chunks, and string, fifth graders chose elements and designed a new plate.


Young children are naturally inclined to make connections. If we want kids in their later elementary and middle school years to continue to connect the dots it’s up to us to create a context that keeps them thinking.

Wrapping up the morning one boy shared, “I discovered this long ago. If you find anything, even if you think it’s worth nothing, you can turn it into something!”  



Relishing kids Big Ideas,  Nancy, Susan, and Dee

3 thoughts on “Connect the Dots

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