It started in the peace garden, the children noticed acorns falling from the oak tree and bouncing off various items in the yard. We started collecting them. This coincided with a family nature walk on the weekend, my daughter, walking through the woods, found the biggest acorns we had ever seen. She collected them as well. I brought the acorns in to show the Fireflies. We sorted and counted them on the table in the morning. We had a circle time in which we each grabbed a handful of acorns and each child made a guess or an estimation of how many acorns they were holding. We recorded our guesses on a chart (it is now hanging on the door to the covered porch). Then each child revealed the acorns in their hands and we counted them aloud. We compared our guesses to the actual amount. Which group has more? How many more could you hold than you thought? We even painted with the acorns, which you can check out the results hanging in the hallway. The huge acorns from my daughter’s nature walk had been in the room a week and I noticed some of them had started to sprout. The fireflies were excited and we decided to take action. We planted the acorns, we are growing trees! The fireflies are going to study trees!
We discussed at circle time that plants need water, sun and soil. I read the classic book, The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss. If you don’t remember this title the book begins with…"A little boy planted a carrot seed. His mother said, 'I'm afraid it won't come up." The little boy is told by his whole family that the carrot won’t grow, but he persists, has faith, tends the seed and… "And then, one day, a carrot came up just as the little boy had known it would." I suggested we have the opportunity to make our own story about our own acorn seed, but it would take a long time, perhaps the entire school year for our trees to grow. So each child chose an acorn and planted it in a clear cup. I encouraged them to place the acorn near the edge of the cup so we could observe it as it grows. We gathered as a group to observe and draw pictures of our plantings. We will continue to record our observations in individual journals throughout the year. The children have faith, but don’t tell the Firefies, I’m afraid “it won’t come up!”