Every now and again, however, our grounds are further enhanced by abrupt seasonal outbursts that are just waiting to be noticed. The shady north side of the Middle School wing had such a conversation with the Kindergartners this morning. While walking to Science class, we spied a cluster of these mushrooms dotting the lawn area. Teacher Chris (3/4 Grade) said that there was only a single toadstool last evening, which means that the one must have conspired with the grass to awaken all of the rest!
As part of our "Identity" unit, Kindergartners have been talking about ways we can identify ourselves. Last week we used physical attributes, pets, and measurements. This week we practiced describing and distinguishing ourselves by our clothing choices. We read Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems and a classic The Elves and the Shoemaker by the Brothers Grimm (illustrated by Jim LaMarche). This morning we read yet another classic, Caps for Sale told and illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina.
A spontaneous dictated response idea blossomed, however, from these mushroom discoveries that I thought looked just like CAPS. I was curious to see if the children did too. I took these photographs of the fungi then showed each child individually and asked them to reflect on them. I then asked the question, "If the mushrooms were part of nature's clothes, what would they be?" Here are their responses.
"They're poisonous?... I don't know. I have a book about them...White and red is poisonous and there is other kinds," Thomas says, "A skirt?" (Maybe a poisonous skirt?) Thomas nods yes.
"Mushroom clothes. Mushroom clothes for eating."-Lexi
"What is that stuff on the top? They look even yuckier than when we saw them (earlier)" Lila says: "A dress...a dancing dress."
Oliver says, "They look like mushrooms. I think they (nature) would use green clothes because plants are green. Mushrooms would provide shade for ants."
"There's black and brown on the top and there's brown and there's white on the sides. They would be like a dress!" says August.
Alex says, "That one looks like it has poison on it. It looks like it has ants marching on top or on the bottom. I don't know which one. It looks like the ants are black. It would be fancy cloth. They look like pretzels. It looks like a pumpkin."
"That one has nothing of a mushroom. It has a black thing (traces around ring with her finger.) What are those called? (I don't know.) Not to eat it! I don't know how it is so wild and 'dee.' That means you can not eat it. It's almost like a bell but it's not metal. Mushroom clothes." says Sophia.
"They look funny. It is funny. It's grass clothes." Dillon says.
"Do you know what that reminds me of? This reminds me of a tutu. It would probably be a tutu of nature's clothes."-Mila
Hmmmmmm, out of all the responses, no caps.