Sunday, October 30, 2011

Liberty Hyde Bailey sailing with his daughter Ethel
"The backgrounds are important.  The life of every one of us is relative.  We miss our destiny when we miss or forget our backgrounds.  We lose ourselves. . . The backgrounds are the great unoccupied spaces.  They are the large environments in which we live but which we do not make.  The backgrounds are the sky with its limitless reaches; the silences of the sea; the tundra in pallid arctic nights; the deserts with their prismatic colors; the shores that gird the planet; the vast mountains that are beyond reach; the winds, which are the universal voice in nature; the sacredness of night; the elemental simplicity of the open fields; and the solitude of the forest.  These are the facts and situations that stand at our backs, to which we adjust our civilization, and by which we measure ourselves. . . I hope that we may always say "The forest primeval."  I hope that some reaches of the sea may never be sailed, that some swamps may never be drained, that some mountain peaks may never be scaled, that some forests may never be harvested.  I hope that some knowledge may never be revealed." 
--Liberty Hyde Bailey (The Holy Earth, 1943)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fern Garden Progress!

Rock Pile at Ed and Dorothy Heinze's Farm

It takes concentration and energy to move mountain parts
At the Fern Garden
On Sunday, the Cub Scouts helped us create a rock border for our fern garden. Fourth and fifth grade boys, under the leadership of Pastor Jeff Dick and Mike Nelson, loaded a flatbed truck with rocks from the farm of Ed and Dorothy Heinze. Ed and Dorothy are rock collectors of sorts (many farmers are). Cool rocks are found naturally and farmers are often the ones that find them as they prepare the soil for planting! Ed and Dorothy were very generous to share some of their rock finds with us! A huge thank you to Ed and Dorothy!  The Cub Scouts, along with Representative Aric Nesbitt and other helpful parents, helped move the rocks from the farm to our fern garden. The ferns have died back, but next year they will find themselves surrounded by cool rocks and a mulched trail. Today, my students toured the trail and we found evidence of ferns and fern spores.  The rock border was awesome!

A big thank you to Carolyn for taking pictures!  Another big thank you to Cindy for videotaping the project!  And to all those who helped move rocks, thank you!!!!  The Liberty Hyde Bailey Interpretive Garden Path is alive and well!  We have lots of hopes and dreams and we know that together we can make our gardens grow!   

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Am

We released our butterflies and hope that they are surviving their long trip to Mexico.   As a class, we have been writing I Am poems.  Each line of their poems begins with "I."  Students practice personification with this poem as they imagine that they are the thing that they write about.  Based on themes from our backyard we have written I Am Autumn, I Am Leaf and I Am Butterfly.  Students chose their favorite poem and I have written them for you below.

I Am Autumn
By Cameron

I see kids play on the ground
I see them playing all around
I hear kids laughing a lot
I wonder where the kids are . . . are they at home or at school?
I feel the wind going through my leaves
I smell my leaves here and there
I think kinds are coming back
I am Autumn

I Am Butterfly
By Genevieve

I dream of what it is like in Mexico
I taste the pollen in flowers
I feel the cool breeze that flows on me
I think of all of my cousin butterflies that are going to Mexico
I wonder what would happen if I were the last of my kind
I am Butterfly

I Am Butterfly
By Emily

I wonder what kind of journey I will go on today
I taste the morning breeze
I imagine that it's sunny not storming
I touch the leaves when I fly by
I smell apple pie
I dream of being a superhero someday
I wonder what it would be like as a person
I am Butterfly

I Am Butterfly
By Jeremiah

I feel the wind on my wings
I like the nectar in the flowers
 I smell the sweet nectar in the flowers
I imagine if I went into the forest and almost eaten
I hear the birds chirping in the sky
I am Butterfly

I Am Leaf
By Kaiden

I am leaf lying down on a birch tree's branches
I imagine the kids playing on my branches that hold me
I love to dance in the wind when I blow away
I hope the kids never grow bigger
I am Leaf!

I Am Leaf
By Zander

I hear the kids crunching on me
I feel the beautiful autumn breeze
I smell the apple pie in the window
I dream of being a human
I see the kids outside
I see other kids on my tree friends
I wonder how nice the kids are
I am Leaf

I Am Butterfly
By Mikayla

I don't like people touching my wings
I fly to Mexico
I dance in the wind as it starts to get cold
I am a Monarch
I am in my chrysalis in a ball
I am ready for my new life
I am Butterfly

I Am Fish
By Amelia

I am fish swimming in the sea
I wonder if you can see me
I see frogs swimming right next to me
I wave to them with lots of glee
I do not know their history
I see them swimming right away from me
I don't know why this always happens to me
I have to go find my mommy
I am Fish

I Am Butterfly
By Sydnee

I dream about pretty flowers
I feel free
I hear the sound of music
I imagine me as a peaceful butterfly
I see a new born butterfly
I smell the flowers and oranges
I taste the wind
I think about me when I was a caterpillar
I touch the sky
I wonder what Mexico looks like
I Am Butterfly

I Am Autumn
By Zayne

I am the geese that the wind brushes against me
I am the grass that wonders why I'm dry
I am the trees that smell the wind
I am the leaves that think, when will I fall off?
I am the crickets that see the trees moving
I am the flowers that hear winter coming
I am Autumn

I Am Autumn
By Aliya

I feel the cold wind right in my face.
I wonder when the kids are going to come and play
I smell grass all around me
I think all my leaves are changing colors right now
I see lots of pumpkins and bugs and trees
I hear a lot of crickets
I am Autumn!

I Am Leaf
By Mayson

I am the thing that you see when you look up in the air when a tree is standing there
I hear all the leaves saying "bye-bye"
I see the children playing
I feel the breeze . . . ahhh . . . I am falling
I am Leaf

I Am Butterfly
By Juliana

I am the butterfly that goes to Mexico
I am the butterfly that you see sometimes
I am the butterfly that lands on tulips and daisies
I am the butterfly that lands on kids' fingers
I am the Monarch butterfly
I am the one who tastes nectar on flowers
I am Butterfly

I Am Autumn
By Seth

I feel the warmth going through me
I wonder when the kids will come out to play
I smell the grass
I see geese flying South
I hear it's Autumn
I am Autumn

I Am Butterfly
By Lyndsee

I smell the food in the country of Mexico
I see my friends flying close to me
I feel the cool breeze through my wings
I hear the birds chirping
I taste the flowers in Mexico
I am Butterfly

I Am Butterfly
By Gary

I smell bunches of nectar
I feel the flower touching my tongue
I touch other animals
I imagine how I can fly
I think of other butterflies
I taste other nectar and food
I dream of going to Mexico in the winter
I wonder what it would be like being a person
I am Butterfly

I am Autumn
By Faith

I see children playing
I hear them laughing and talking
I wonder when they will come back and play
I think soon
I feel cold and happy
I smell the leaves of autumn
I am Autumn

I Am Butterfly
By Zackary

I smell sweet nectar
I taste the nectar
I touch a flower
I imagine flowers with nectar all over me
I think winter's coming
I wonder where are my brothers and sisters?
I feel a new life coming
I am Butterfly

I Am Autumn
By Shyann

I hear birds
I see trees
I think water is ice cold
I smell flowers
I feel food
I am Autumn

I Am Butterfly
By Makaelee

I am butterfly
I shimmer with colors of the rainbow
I feel the sun beating down on my beautiful wings
I see the bees working hard
I dream of what the prettiest butterfly would look like
I am Butterfly

I Am Butterfly
By Makenzie

I wonder when I can see my new life
I see my friend has hatched out of the chrysalis
I smell wonderful nectar coming off a butterfly bush
I dream that i will see a new world out there
I taste really good nectar
I touched a person's finger
I am a Monarch butterfly
I feel the wind hiding me
I think my friend is going to hatch soon
I imagine that I will be good to each and every butterfly when I get out of the chrysalis
I see a new life coming
I like to fly to Mexico because when it gets cold at Michigan I go to Mexico
I am Butterfly

I Am Leaf
By Abigail

I am leaf
I am blown around so many ways it makes me dizzy
I wish I was a kid then I would not bet blown around
I am stuck up in this old wrinkled tree
I am an old Leaf

I Am Butterfly
By Phillip

I fly south for the winter
I drink nectar from plants
I see pollen on my leg
I have a tube as a mouth
I have poison in me
I have colored wings
I am Butterfly