Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day to You

Last weekend when the girls were here, they both told me separately how proud they were of their long-distance running parents. "What about you and your sister?" I asked the oldest. "Do you guys do anything like that?"

"Oh, no," she told me, "we're more inside people."

I thought of that conversation today when I told my students that in honor of Earth Day we would spend part of our class outside gathering details for the odes we would write to our home planet when we came back in. Do we have to? sighed at least one student in every class.

Then there was the litany of concerns:

I have allergies. 
I need sunscreen. 
I'm afraid of bugs. 
It's too cold. 
Isn't it going to rain? 

"Guys!" I snapped them back. "We're only going to be out there for 10 minutes, 15 tops!" And off we went to explore the back field of our school where we found:

maple seed helicopters (that you can also stick on your nose)
buttercups (which many were unaware could show if you like butter)
dandelion seeds to send flying
redbud blossoms to sample
cedar foliage to feel
clover to search for lucky four-leafs
breezes to refresh us
mulch to pinch our noses at
smooth crape myrtle trunks to admire (it looks like mango! someone noted.)
holly leaves to beware of
pink dogwood flowers to commend
anthills to architecturally acclaim
crabgrass to metaphorically contemplate
and lots of
and squirrels
and trees
and people

And when we came back inside each group was absolutely silent as they composed their odes to our home.

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