At Fiddleheads this week we have continued talking about trees, and we have also turned our focus to recognizing and cultivating gratitude. We finished up last week by visiting a sequoia in the park and learning about the majestic sequoia, and by making carrot cinnamon bread. When making the bread we talked about the how some of the ingredients come from different plant parts, like cinnamon bark, ginger root and carrots roots. This week we focused on several Native American stories about gratitude, including the Potawatomi creation story about how Skywoman sang the earth into being through her gratitude at the sacrifice of the animals to help her, and we read and acted out the Passamaquoddy story "Thanks To The Animals", about an infant lost in the winter woods of Maine who is saved by wild woodland animals. We learned about the Israeli festival of Tu Bishvat, giving thanks for trees, and we practiced thanking our favorite climbing and playing and "sitting under" trees at the park. At lunch every day we have been eating together and singing our gratitude song, and we have been discussing various prompts about gratitude, for example thinking of things that we are grateful for in our homes, and recalling times that we did things for others that made them feel grateful. We will continue to talk about gratitude at mealtimes throughout the year, and I recommend continuing conversations about it at home. Gratitude is the mother of all virtues, as they say, and being able to find it, especially in moments of frustration and dissatisfaction, is a lifelong asset.
We've had some fun climbing on logs this week, seeing goldfinches, finding mushrooms, listening to crows, and watching them mob the hawk. We continue to check in with our feelings and with the forest every day. It's wonderful to see the children continue to improve in their ability to listen to each other and to the world around them.
Next week there is no school for thanksgiving break. We hope that you have a lovely break! When we get back after break we will segue our tree focus into talking about forests. The final week of school in December we will be talking about the solstice and the end of the solar year and preparing for our winter spiral of lights festival.
Thanks you everyone for being a part of our Fiddleheads community! I really appreciate it and am grateful for what we have here.