If I Were a Tree...
Our 3- and 4-year-old Afternoon Explorers class has been doing an in-depth study of trees.
We're lucky to have Washington Park across from the school where the children visited various trees and collected leaves. It is, after all, that time of year when you can get a close look at those leaves that are usually up on high!
The children then looked closely at the leaves of the white oak tree; here are some of their findings:
"It's like a rectangle but also like a big square." - Natalie
"The veins go on each side." - Sam
"It's like a starfish." - Noa
"The underside is a darker shade of white." - Aelwen
"The hole is the shape of my thumb." - Yoka
Upon reading the book If I Were a Tree, the kids were inspired to act out being a tree and subsequently took that idea even further: deciding what kind of tree they would be and actually creating a picture of their tree by making a monoprint.
First, the shape of a tree (really a branch) was projected onto the wall so the kids could trace the shadow for their tree's trunk.
Based on their earlier experience of making rubbings of bark, they created monoprints featuring patterns that they felt matched the bark they had observed.
Once dry, the prints were cut to the tree trunk shapes they had traced, and there it was: the bare shape of the tree. The kids then decorated it and recorded why they chose to be the following kinds of trees:
It's a deep thing to think about, isn't it: What kind of tree would you be?