Thursday, April 2, 2015
B is for Botany
One of the main lessons taught in Waldorf schools in Grade Five is Botany. We start the block looking at mushrooms, and since our school is in a rainy valley mushroom hunting is extremely satisfying. The children loved drawing them and setting them on white paper to see the spore patterns.
Mushrooms are often thought of as the baby of the plant world because when you see a fairy ring of mushrooms it is because under the ground there is a whole network of connection linking the mushrooms that we see standing on their own above ground.
It is miraculous how after a rain the forest blooms and comes alive with new mushroom life.
Mushroom hunting was always a joy with my own children and one I was glad to share with my boisterous class of Grade Five students.
B is also for the Bighouse.
In Grade Four we spent the night in a First Nations Bighouse. We all received our Squamish name, learned to cook by putting hot rocks into large bentwood boxes filled with vegetables and rice, wove cedar bark and wool, gathered herbs and berries to make tea, heard the coyotes call us from across the river and listened to stories around the Bighouse fire while we learned to cook (and eat) bannock. We were gifted this beautiful wooden salmon and painted it on return to the classroom. This salmon followed us through the years, and now it is in the high school classroom watching over them as they continue there education without me.
I am glad this square was included.
I hope one day they return to the river where we learned so much.