Thursday, May 20, 2010

Flower of the Sun

On an Explore Table available to my students, there is a collection of spirals from the sea, shells of such distinct beauty, and from plants and trees, pine cones, seed pods, branches, twigs, flower buds, all artifacts of nature's spiraling beauty and harmony. In its own special way each spiraling pattern is awe inspiring, as is this sunflower. Without exception the most frequently drawn, painted, colored, flower of choice for all my young students is the sunflower. And indeed each student is very much a flower of the sun, manifesting spiraling patterns of ever evolving beauty and quest.

As the child explores the texture, feel, coolness, warmth, weight, mass, of each artifact, the object becomes known and appreciated for its particular shape, feel and structure. Descriptive words are associated, attention is given to the details of form, imagination flows as the child creates an adventure for a chosen artifact. Within each explored artifact lies an entire curriculum, the lessons of language, writing, art, mathematics, science, nature, the environment, and the unmitigated pleasure of discovery.

Guidance is provided to parents on how to use everyday experiences, objects of nature and draw from them lessons of language, reading, writing, mathematics, and science. Readiness for any subject area is enhanced by providing meaningful 'hands on' opportunities for exploration and discovery. A sunflower offers a joyful venture into nature, beauty, harmony, and the wonders of creation. If in doubt ask a child.

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