This week I’ve been diligently working on an environmental day presentation for the first-grade classrooms at a local elementary school. Each year, I am asked back to provide a lesson for their earth day celebrations. Three of the topics I’ve presented were Forest Stewardship: Treating our Forests as our Friend, Monarch Life Cycles and Habitat, and Signs of Spring: A mini phenology and citizen science lesson. This year I wanted to do something different. I gave the teachers the choice of water conservation, habitat for hummingbirds, and flower bulbs. They chose the latter. The flower bulb lesson is one I’ve presented many times and made a PowerPoint for in 2020. However, the age that lesson is meant for is grades 2-5. Yes, you still have to think about your audience and benchmark standards in environmental education. I believe the bulb lesson will be easy to tweak with some alteration in language and length. There is also an accompanying activity – forcing flower bulbs for growing before the season starts. There will be 125 students, plus six teachers seeing the presentation, which, unfortunately, is still via zoom or a pre-recording.
I hope to finish the editing of the slides this weekend and work on the voiceover next week. But, all work on the flower bulb lesson has me thinking about daffodils, tulips, crocus, and hyacinths. Even though it is very early, I keep looking at my garden beds to see if there are any signs of the bulbs in my yard starting to grow. Of course, there has not been any, yet. Too early.
One of the things I especially like about environmental education is that you can teach in an interdisciplinary way, bringing all subjects together for a lesson. I always tried to incorporate more than science or biology into my lessons for the elementary garden club I led for 15 years. It worked well to keep the students engaged, so I still try to offer a variety of lesson components – including language arts – to community presentations.
So, along with learning about bulbs (they are very cool plant structures from a botanical standpoint) and planting some (no soil needed), the students will be able to try to complete a short acrostic poem from the words tulip and bulbs. This gives the very young student a chance to practice with words and sounds, even if the acrostic lesson just allows them to pick words rom a teacher-generated word wall.
As for my poetry today, I am sharing one I wrote around this time last year: Chickadee Dance.
The chickadees are playing, Rejoicing in the sun. Joyfully, flying from spruce to apple Then, a male cardinal joins the fun. Spring’s thaw is upon us, Can it be so near to see? The birds seem to know what’s up. Flitting from tree to tree. There’s a chase going on outside my window. Is it a mating dance? In and out, round and round, It seems they’re taking a chance. Is the mating season upon us? Here to usher the season in With birdsong and eggs in the house Instead of the bluebird’s kin. Yes, there seems to be a fight To use the blue bird house Before the Eastern flock arrives A chickadee will choose a spouse. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2021 Reivsed, 2022. And, a short poem I wrote this morning: Spring Has Sprung! Spring has sprung! Can it be? I hear the robins and the chickadees. Spring has sprung! Oh, yes it has! Days are filling with more pizzaz. Spring has sprung! I can tell. Sun shining makes all things well. Spring has sprung! It is here at last, Making winter a thing of the past. © Draft, Carol Labuzzetta, 2022. Today is Poetry Friday. The generous and accomplished Sylvia Vardell is our round up host for this week. She is joined by the equally talented, accomplished and gregarious, Janet Wong. Please visit Sylvia's page at Poetry For Children to reach the links and read about a fantastic new book being released by a new cohort of Anthology 201 students. Thanks for hosting, ladies!