The Giving Tree

Happy New Year to all!  We are looking forward to an exciting and fun filled 2013 in the Grasshopper room!  As we "buttoned up" 2012 in the G-hop class we found ourselves immersed in the season of giving.  We focused our attention on giving to others and had a wonderful time creating gifts and cards for our families.  This top secret project was a source of pride and joy for each of the children - smiling broadly as they left with their gifts from the heart to share.  So sweet!

We continued our study of trees and were very blessed by Linvilla Orchards (again!) with the arrival of our very own evergreen tree.  We enjoyed its fresh aroma and simple beauty.  Our mural in the hall came to life with many beautiful, artistic trees made from colored tissue, fabric pieces, paint, sticks and more.  We examined samples of wood from many varieties of trees.  We talked about the rings in the cross section pieces and what they signified.  We noted the color, texture and shape of the different wooden trees.  We read many stories about trees including, The Night Tree by Eve Bunting.  This is the story of a family who heads to the woods on Christmas Eve to decorate a tree for the animals.  The decorations are edible gifts and the family peacefully watches as the animals approach and enjoy the bounty.

The pinnacle of our tree study was the creation of our own night tree which we called our Giving Tree.  The kids carefully prepared pine cones with sunflower butter and loaded them with birdseed.  We also strung dried apples, and hung cranberries and popcorn.  The Butterfly class joined in the fun and added expertly strung cereal to the tree.  On the last day of school before our winter break we brought the tree outside as a gift to our animal friends.  The children were very excited imagining how the animals would enjoy the treats! 

As we arrived back at school in January - you can imagine our surprise to find our Giving Tree's branches completely bare!  All that lingered were a few stray cranberries, the leftover string and empty pipe cleaners scattered about the grass.  Our gift had been enjoyed by our wildlife.  Surely the chirping birdies we heard fluttering above our heads were saying, "Thank you!".