Sunday, September 23, 2012

Reading the Stream

"There is no water in the stream."
" We will all die."
This is a phenomenon experienced each year in September as the Kindergartners visit the stream.One week the water is flowing strong and so there is unanimous proclamation to damn the water. The next week there is less water in the stream and the damn becomes the culprit.  

This time there is concern for the creatures of the stream. How will they drink? 
"We must have water or we will die and this is true for them, also". 
The children locate a reservoir of water and  begin to dig channels that allow the water to  flow away from the reservoir to other locations. 
It is a massive collaborative effort and their efforts are acknowledged by a slow trickle of water.

A first grader has an idea but it is controversial. He is building what appears to be another damn  to the Kindergarten. He assures them that this is not the case and explains his thinking. 
"The water pressure will build and then slowly pass through this hole." 
Tannin is the first to announce that the theory works.

I think that Vea Vecchi, the Italian Atelierista,  would feel very satisfied with this effort.  Aestheticism  and practicality do coexists in our work.

"Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for Nature.  Properly cultivated, these values can mature into ecological literacy, and eventually   into sustainable patterns of living."
Zenobia Barlow
a pioneer in creating models of schooling for sustainability


  1. This is such fun to think about, I love that it is an annual investigation. Does it usually lead to a discussion about where the water goes? I wonder if they would like to talk with this year's 7th grade...they spent a fair amount of time in the forest last year thinking about the water and its' flow...and life in the stream. It will be interesting to learn about their thinking as the year progresses and the water level changes.

  2. You've beautifully captured the asthetic value of children's "work" and how their involvement with nature compliments this intrinsic skill. I only wish more children had these remarkable opportunities on a consistent basis.